DeSean Jackson's Punt Return Erases Fumble, Andy Reid Coaching Error

DeSean Jackson could have been the Eagles' goat today.

It may seem hard to believe now, but it was Jackson who gave the Giants the turnover that allowed New York to go up 31-10 in the fourth quarter. He fumbled near midfield, and the Giants recovered, then drove for a touchdown that put them up by 21.

Of course, Jackson didn't really fumble: replay showed that Jackson lost the ball as he hit the ground after being touched, meaning he should have been down by contact and the fumble should have been overturned. The problem with that? Andy Reid didn't challenge the play.

Yes, Andy Reid, one of the most challenge-happy coaches in the NFL, neglected to throw the red flag on a play that could have kept his Eagles on pace to cut the Giants' lead in half. (FOX showed a replay of Reid deciding not to challenge the play, instead stuffing the flag back in his pocket.)

And, at this point, after Michael Vick's incredible fourth quarter and the unfathomable game-winning Jackson punt return, that almost seems like a good decision.

Sure, Reid could have thrown that challenge flag and gotten the call reversed. And the Eagles could have come back from a 24-10 deficit with a couple of quick touchdowns — Vick was moving them well even before being down 21, and Reid would have kept the timeout after winning the challenge. But this comeback win, in this manner, has to be a huge boost to Philadelphia's collective psyche. It's the "If we win this game, we can win all of 'em" idea, writ large.

It's also a much bigger blow to the Giants than it might seem. With the loss, the Giants now must win out to control their playoff destiny, and could be on the outside looking in if they lose to the Packers next week.

For the Eagles, that's great news: the fearsome Giants pass rush has been about the only thing to flummox a healthy Vick this year. But, then, after what Vick and Jackson and the rest of the Eagles did to overcome a colossal error by Andy Reid and a massive fourth quarter deficit, even the once-feared Giants may no longer feel like a threat.

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