On December 19, 2010, DeSean Jackson submitted an early entry to the NFL for “Play of the Decade” when he capped off a 21-point fourth quarter comeback for the Philadelphia Eagles with a 65-yard punt return touchdown to beat the New York Giants on the final play of the game. It feels ridiculous to even recap how the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” happened because it very well could be the most famous regular season play of the previous decade and I’m sure that most of you remember it.
But that was 2010, when originality was still acceptable.
Now it is 2021, and Hollywood is more obsessed than ever with a reboot.
Some of the top movies coming out in the next three months will be Dune, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, West Side Story, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and The Matrix Resurrections.
Why? Because whether it is a book series, a comic book franchise, a musical that our grandparents enjoyed, or the fourth installment of a film franchise that stopped being good with the first one almost 25 years ago, you have a distinct familiarity with words like “Ghostbusters” and “Matrix” and because of that, studios expect you to watch.
It’s the same reason that upcoming TV series include “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Chucky” and “The Real Magic Mike” and “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” ... you recognize those words and maybe you’ll watch.
Well, how many people will be tuning in to see the name DeSean Jackson participating in a game at the Meadowlands against the Giants this Sunday?
As a member of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2008 to 2013, then with Washington from 2014 to 2016, Jackson has made many appearances against the Giants and in New Jersey. That was his last punt return touchdown in the Meadowlands, but not his only one. Here are some DeSean Jackson-Meadowlands facts to consider:
- The Eagles won five of Jackson’s first six games at The Meadowlands
- In his first appearance against the Giants, he scored his first career rushing touchdown, but that was in Philadelphia; in his first appearance at the Meadowlands, Jackson was held to zero catches on three targets and he lost nine yards on two rush attempts.
- In 2009’s game at the Meadowlands, Jackson set a career-high with 178 receiving yards, catching six of seven targets in a 45-38 win. The game featured a 14-point comeback by the Giants, only to have Jackson immediately give Philly back the lead on a 60-yard touchdown catch from Donovan McNabb.
- While playing with Vince Young as the QB in the year after the Miracle in 2011, Jackson had a 50-yard reception in the second quarter called back because he drew a taunting penalty. Taunting?! What is this, 2021? This tweet from Jay Glazer is not related but I found it interesting nonetheless:
Sources say landry and deangelo hall were taunting desean jackson b4 warmups, mocking him getting concussed. Payback's a bitch isn't it?— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 16, 2010
- (Jackson scored a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown in a 31-17 win over the Falcons, which is what the tweet is in reference to)
- This tweet is related:
Steve Smith is loving that DeSean Jackson taunting call. Dude taunts after every 6 yd. out— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 21, 2011
- You gotta admit, it is kinda crazy that I’m talking about a receiver who is still in the league, and he was playing with players I only associate with 2009 or football from centuries ago.
- Back to that 2011 Vince Young game, DeSean Jackson had a 51-yard punt return that setup a 14-yard touchdown to Steve Smith on the next play.
- In 2013, now playing with Nick Foles, Jackson caught seven passes for 132 yards and a late fourth quarter touchdown that put the game out of reach for the Giants.
- In Jackson’s first appearance in the Meadowlands with Washington, he scored on a 63-yard catch from Kirk Cousins. Sean McVay was the offensive coordinator during that 20-14 Washington victory.
- In Jackson’s second appearance there in 2016, he had five catches for 96 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown from Cousins. A 29-27 win for Washington.
- In 2018, Jackson returned to the Meadowlands with Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson caught a 20-yard pass from Fitzpasstrick. But on the second play of the second half, Fitz threw at Jackson, who was being defended by former Rams corner Janoris Jenkins, and former Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree picked him off and returned it for a touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Fitzpasstrick again targeted Jackson, and again was picked off. Jameis Winston came out for the next drive. Jackson had two catches for 12 yards over the rest of the game and on the final play, Winston went his way again...it was intercepted.
- And because DeSean Jackson was inactive during both of Philly’s trips to the Meadowlands over the previous two seasons, that was his most recent appearance there.
- The LA Rams are the fifth team that DeSean Jackson has traveled to the Meadowlands with.
- DeSean Jackson’s teams are 7-2 in the Meadowlands when he is active, including a 2008 playoff win during his rookie campaign. That year, Jackson caught four passes for 81 yards in a 23-11 victory but he had zero yards on his one punt return.
We know that Tutu Atwell will be returning punts, perhaps sometimes spelled by Cooper Kupp in certain field situations. But Jackson has caught seven passes this year for 215 yards and while he doesn’t figure to be targeted heavily, can he help contribute to his eighth career Meadowlands win as a visitor?
That’s a familiar site that Rams fans would be happy to engage with on their screens this Sunday.