EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Since DeSean Jackson's walkoff punt return last December to cap off the Miracle at the New Meadowlands, the stadium where the New York Giants plays their home games has been renamed.
But that didn't make Jackson feel any less comfortable as he caught six passes for 88 yards and returned a punt 51 yards in Sunday night's 17-10 win over the Giants.
"It's just something about New York that we're able to come here and put on a show in front of their fans. The energy their team gives us just speaks for itself," Jackson said. "We came here. There were a lot of people doubting us and don't think we can finish strong, but as a team I think we can do it."
Jackson's performance was a statement after he was deactivated last Sunday against Arizona for missing a team meeting.
"You have to be a professional about the situation. I know what happened. I just really let my team down," he said. "What I love to do is to come out and help this team win games since day one since I've been here, the playmaker ability, just the spark, the energy I'm able to bring to this team. People don't really understand the light that I bring and just kind of shine on my teammates."
The light that Jackson has was nearly blinding early in the game. On the Eagles' second drive, Jackson had beat Giants rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara down the left sideline. However, Vince Young, who started for an injured Michael Vick, underthrew the ball and it was intercepted by New York's top draft pick.
With the Eagles' other starting receiver Jeremy Maclin sidelined due to injury, Jackson was the featured deep weapon as his 32-yard catch converted a third-and-10 and led to the Eagles first points. The vertical element was lacking in last Sunday's loss to Arizona.
Jackson's spark and energy were also his downfall which neutralized a 50-yard reception down the sideline later in the half. Jackson made the catch, went out of bounds and tossed the ball in the direction of Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, which drew a taunting penalty. The kicker is that Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph was called for illegal hands to the face. Even though Jackson's penalty was a deadball foul, there was no play so it was as if it never happened.
According to Rule 14, Article 9 of the NFL Rule Book, "If there has been a foul by either team during a down and there is a dead ball foul by the other team in the action immediately after the end of the down, it is a double foul, and all rules for enforcement of double fouls apply."
After the Giants' next drive, Jackson atoned for his mistake with his best punt return of the year - a 51-yarder - which was a tip toe along the sideline away from being a touchdown. On the next play, wide receiver Steve Smith, who took Jackson's role on the play since he briefly rested, scored on a 14-yard touchdown grab to put the Eagles ahead 10-0.
Even though it was Riley Cooper who scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter, Jackson showed a concerted effort to spin away from Giants cornerback Corey Webster to convert a third-and-4 situation. Three plays later, the Eagles took the lead for good.
"We were able to execute in the fourth quarter. Vince did a good job of just giving us a chance," Jackson said. "We came out here as a team."
Jackson admitted to playing a role in not being a team player when he missed a team meeting. But his apology spoken with his performance on the field helped keep the Eagles' hopes of playing beyond the regular season alive for another week.
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