Published December 19, 2010
By Larry Fine
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - Call it "Miracle at the New Meadowlands" for Philadelphia after DeSean Jackson capped a comeback with a 65-yard touchdown punt return as time ran out for another Eagles road win over the Giants.
Jackson's explosive dash through New York's coverage unit gave the Eagles a fourth unanswered touchdown in Sunday's fourth quarter as they rallied from 31-10 with less than eight minutes left to break a deadlock atop the NFC East with the Giants.
It was Philadelphia's sixth win in a row against the Giants dating back to 2008 and it recalled an amazing finish 32 years ago at the previous Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands area across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
In that November 19, 1978 game, Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched a handoff to fullback Larry Csonka instead of simply taking a knee to run out the clock with the Giants leading 17-12. Cornerback Herman Edwards picked up the fumble and ran 26 yards for the winning score.
That game was dubbed "The Miracle at the Meadowlands".
Sunday's contest was the Eagles first visit to the Giants' New Meadowlands Stadium.
"We have to force this pill down on our throats," Giants center Shaun O'Hara told reporters. "It will be a tough one to swallow."
Philadelphia scored 28 points in the last seven minutes, 43 seconds of the game to improve to 10-4, while the Giants fell to 9-5.
"This is disastrous," Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn said. "We were self-destructive today."
Said tight end Kevin Boss: "I'm in disbelief right now. I'm in shock."
The collapse of the Giants defense against the dynamic Vick was stunning but the fact that Jackson had a chance to return a punt on the last play of regulation for the win was dumbfounding.
"The young punter (rookie Matt Dodge) 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," New York coach Tom Coughlin said.
While the Giants were preparing on the sidelines for the expected overtime period, Dodge hit a line drive punt down the middle of the field that allowed Jackson to work his magic.
Philadelphia coach Andy Reid was also surprised to see the punt sail toward Jackson. "It was a beautiful thing," he said.
(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)