Standing back there with 14 seconds left in the game, DeSean Jackson says he was thinking, " 'They’re really not going to kick it to me.’ I was thinking that he was going to kick it out of bounds or do something out of the ordinary but it was a blessing."
It turned out to be as the Eagles took over first place in the NFC East with a thrilling victory as Jackson returned the punt 65 yards for a touchdown.
Turns out the Giants weren't planning to kick it to him and didn't want to.
"I’ll take full responsibility for that last play: the young punter was told to punt it out of bounds and he got a high snap and didn’t feel like he could and we all learned the hard way again," coach Tom Coughlin said. "At that point in the game with (Jackson) back there, you don’t punt into that."
As for punter, Matt Dodge, here is a transcript of his comments to the media:
Q: Can you describe your emotions right now?
A: Just extremely frustrated. I feel like I had a good game all game, putting it where I wanted to, and sometimes you try so hard to do something – get it out of bounds – and you just lose your head. And that’s kind of what happened.
Q: Why did you give Jackson a chance to return the ball there?
A: No, not a chance. I was definitely looking out of bounds the whole way. I got the snap and tried to get it off quick. Not a good time to hit a line drive, that’s for sure.
Q: So it was a matter of rushing to get it off quick there?
A: I had plenty of time, just not executing good. There’s nothing more you can say. You can’t give the most explosive returner in the game a line drive in a situation like that.
Q: How hard do you take this loss? Do you put it all on yourself even if the defense gave up three scores in the last six minutes?
A: I just have to get better. When you need to hit something good – you can hit good punts all game, but when it comes down to it, you just have to learn to calm your nerves and do what you’re supposed to do. There’s some things I did today that I’m happy with and I’ll definitely try and take and learn from.
Q: Did Coach Coughlin personally instruct you to get it out of bounds?
A: I think everyone on that sideline did. And I knew it. He didn’t have to tell me. It wasn’t rocket science not to kick it to him with 12 seconds left, but sometimes you don’t execute as well as you’d like.
Q: Did the high snap have an effect on your punt?
A: No. It didn’t pull me off my line. I didn’t have to jump crazy for it. I caught it and just didn’t get it off.
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