That’s right. Philadelphia PR DeSean Jackson’s game-winning punt return against the Giants on December 19, 2010 has been voted The Greatest Play in NFL History by NFL.com’s readers. This ultimate insult of a play beat out 49ers QB Steve Young’s TD scramble vs the Vikings in 1988.
John Fennelly, Lead Writer
Like all Giant fans, this play will be lodged in my brain for the rest of my life. It was a play that never should have happened, as we all know. I was in the press box that day and what really burned my @$$ was having to endure some members of the Philly media, who were jumping up and down like a gaggle of grade school girls at a Justin Bieber concert. What a disgrace.
Here’s what I wrote on July 4 of 2011 when Matt Dodge, the Giants’ punter who bore the brunt of that improbable collapse, was trying to retain his job in camp the next summer:
The lowest moment for Dodge came on Dec 19, when his line drive punt was returned by the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson for a game-winning TD. It capped one of the biggest collapses in team history and although Dodge was not the main culprit, he was the one left holding the bag.
Dodge was instructed to keep the ball away from the explosive Jackson. ‘Hit it out of bounds’ the coaches told him. He didn’t.
“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,” Dodge said after the game. “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.”
The vision of head coach Tom Coughlin yelling at Dodge on the field after the game will be indelibly etched in the psyche of Giant fans forever.
Dodge was beaten out by Steve Weatherford in camp that summer and has not punted in regular season NFL game since.