Saturday, February 13, 2016

Jackson: 'That was a beautiful game'

DeSean Jackson was not back to return punts for most of the game, but he was back there when the Eagles needed him.

Jackson: 'That was a beautiful game'

Jeremy Maclin hugs DeSean Jackson after the Eagles defeated the Giants, 38-31. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)
Jeremy Maclin hugs DeSean Jackson after the Eagles defeated the Giants, 38-31. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

DeSean Jackson was not back to return punts for most of the game, but he was back there when the Eagles needed him.

Jackson capped a miraculous comeback with a 65-yard punt return as time expired as the Eagles took over first place in the NFC East.

“That was a beautiful game,” Jackson said. “Going into halftime, I didn’t even think this is possible.”

"We talked all week about my foot and I told coach that I just wanted to be 100 percent on offense and I felt that if I were doing punt returns and playing offense there would probably be a slim chance that I couldn’t be as fresh as I wanted to be offensively because of my foot," Jackson said afterward. "Coach Reid asked me before the game about punt returns and I told him that if we need it when the game is close, just put me back there and today was one of those times where I got that whistle (from Coach Reid) and he said “get your butt back there” so I went back there and even when I was on the field he (Coach Reid) was whistling at me to make sure that I was going to look it in and I assured Coach Reid that I had it. It was just a blessing."

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Said Reid: “I wanted to make sure he was there in the end. If we had one in that kind of crazy situation at the end, I wanted to get him through the game as a receiver.”

Jackson initially fumbled, but that ended up helping the return. Reid said his advice to Jackson was to make sure he looked the ball all the way in.

"When I dropped the ball, I panicked real quickly," Jackson said. "It was probably a good thing because when I panicked I was able to locate the ball and it was maybe a foot or two away from me and when I grabbed the ball I went one way and when I looked up I saw a crease and I just shot through that crease."

“It was just slow enough to make it work,” Reid said. “He found a few seams, the people who needed to converge on him converged.”

“I wasn’t sure they weren’t going to punt to him,” Reid said. “We had he and Jeremy back there on the second to last one. I think it went off his foot wrong. It was a line drive. If you’re going to kick it to him, you better get some hang time.”

On the comeback, with 28 fourth-quarter points: “You keep playing, take one at a time. You can’t get caught up on the score. This is a rarity. You’ve got to keep battling, take one series, one play at a time. The guys did that. That was a special win.”

On the locker room at halftime: “They were frustrated, but they weren’t done. They were supporting each other. We didn’t do much that first series with the ball [in the second half]. The defense tightened up. We finally got a couple of things going on offense. They were blitzing us every down. We were able to hang in there.”

On Michael Vick: “He didn’t start off well with the interception. He hung in there. He’s battling. He got hit a couple of times. He came back with those long runs. Hmm, special.”

On not challenging: “I didn’t do a very good job on that challenge. I should have. I goofed.”

On the onside kick: “Bobby did a great job with that. That was a surprise onside. We didn’t have our hands people in there. We had our normal crew in … I looked over to make sure they didn’t have their hands teams in there. We had normal personnel and they had normal personnel with five up front. That was kind of the key. Worked out well.”

In injury news, Nate Allen ruptured his patella tendon. “It’s a big one, but it’s the only one,” Reid said.

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