DeSean Jackson will sign a one-day contract with the Eagles today and officially retire as a member of the club. A second-round pick back in 2008, he played eight seasons in two stints as an Eagle, and provided dozens of electrifying moments in midnight green. He scored 42 touchdowns with the team – 35 receiving, three rushing, and four more on punt returns.
As D-Jack calls it a career, and in honor of his jersey number with the Birds, we take a look at the Top 10 moments for Jackson as a member of the Eagles:
10. Week 16, 2020 at Cowboys – 81-yard TD catch
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This was Jackson’s final TD catch as an Eagle, and his first and only one from the arm of Jalen Hurts. Late in the first quarter, Hurts rolled out right and fired a deep-range dime to Jackson over double coverage. Jackson somersaulted into the end zone, giving the Eagles a 14-3 lead at the time. Not much went right afterward in that game, a 37-17 loss to the Cowboys.
9. Week 17, 2011 vs. Washington – 62-yard TD catch
Jackson’s long-range connections with Michael Vick were the stuff of legends, and this on in the regular season finale was no exception. With the Birds clinging to a 13-10 lead, Vick faked a handoff and threw a seed to Jackson, who did the rest. No QB threw more TDs to Jackson than Vick (13). The Eagles went on to win, 34-10.
8. Week 5, 2008 vs. Washington – 68-yard punt return TD
This was the first of Jackson’s four career punt return TDs, all with the Eagles. Midway through the first quarter, Jackson broke right after fielding the punt, then reversed his field and took it all the way untouched. This gave the Eagles a 14-0 lead, in a game they would go on to lose, 23-17. Jackson only caught one pass for eight yards in the game, but the rookie made his presence felt.
7. Week 1, 2019 vs. Washington – 53-yard TD catch
The first game of Jackson’s second tour of duty with the Eagles, and one of the best of his career. This was his second TD catch of the game, and both went for 50-plus yards, in a 32-27 Eagles win. The TD catches were his only two from the arm of Carson Wentz. Jackson finished the game with eight catches for 154 yards, but played just 14 more snaps the rest of the season, dealing with a lingering abdominal injury.
6. Week 14, 2009 at Giants – 72-yard punt return TD
Another fantastic game from No. 10, he took this one to the house despite being seemingly hemmed in on the left sideline by six Giants defenders. He shimmied up the sideline, and by the time he got to the Giants’ 40, it was over. He added 60-yard TD catch to give the Eagles the lead for good in a 45-38 win.
5. Week 2, 2008 at Cowboys – 60-yard catch, downed by whistle at 1-yard line
You’ll notice this isn’t called “Jackson’s Top 10 Touchdowns.” That’s because of this moment, where Jackson broke free and was on his way into the end zone, when he inexplicably let go of the ball before he actually got to the goal line! Luckily enough, the Cowboys defenders didn’t think to pick up the ball, and the play was blown dead, giving the Eagles the ball at the 1. Brian Westbrook punched it in on the next play. Not a great look for a player in his second career game, but he more than made up for it.
4. Week 10, 2010 vs. Washington – 88-yard TD catch
This was like a first-pitch Kyle Schwarber 500-foot home run in an NFL game. First play from scrimmage. Vick play-fakes, rolls out, and just throws it as far as he can, because he knows DeSean can run it down. And he does. 88 yards, 7-0 Eagles, 18 seconds into the game, and that’s as close as it got. Washington knew, with 99.5% of the game still left to be played, that the game was over. It was 35-0 just 10 seconds into the second quarter. DeSean only caught one more 10-yard pass the rest of the game, but his game-opening haymaker set the tone.
3. Week 14, 2010 at Cowboys – 91-yard TD catch
Jackson’s run of gigantic plays in the 2010 season continued a few weeks later. The Eagles were in a dogfight with the Giants for the NFC East, taking on a 4-8 Dallas team and finding themselves in a 20-20 game in the fourth quarter. Vick throws a quick out to Jackson, Dallas corner Mike Jenkins dives to knock it down and whiffs. A 10-yard pass becomes a footrace, and you’re not beating DeSean in a footrace. He turned 180 degrees and fell backwards into the end zone. Checkmate.
It capped off a huge game for Jackson, who also caught passes of 60 yards and 37 yards, both setting up other touchdowns, he finished with a career high 210 receiving yards, third-most in a game in team history, in a 30-27 Eagles win.
2. 2008 NFC Championship Game at Cardinals – 62-yard TD catch
The biggest catch on the biggest stage of Jackson’s career. The Eagles had dug themselves into a 24-6 halftime hole on the road. After a strong third quarter, they had cut it to 24-19, when Donovan McNabb rolled out right and launched a 50-50 ball for Jackson. His defender got a piece of the ball, but not enough. Jackson juggled the ball into a catch and he danced over the goal line. The Eagles had come all the way back to take a 25-24 lead.
Unfortunately, there was still most of the fourth quarter to be played. Arizona grinded out a touchdown drive of nearly eight minutes to retake the lead. The Eagles failed to respond in their final possession, and the Cardinals went on to the Super Bowl.
1. Week 15, 2010 at Giants – 65-yard Punt return TD
It should go down as one of the greatest plays in Eagles history. It was recognized by NFL films as one of the top-50 plays of all time. It’s the reason for the resurrection of the term Miracle at the Meadowlands.
The Eagles trailed the Giants 31-10 with 8:23 left in the game. Most teams would have packed it in. But the Eagles had Michael Vick, and things started happening. Fast. A 2-play TD drive, then a recovered onside kick, then a 5-play TD drive, and all of a sudden, the Eagles are down just 7. Vick found Jeremy Maclin for a 13-yard TD to tie things up, setting up Jackson’s heroics.
The first walkoff punt return TD in the history of the sport. Many Eagles fans don’t even need to see it, they can remember Joe Buck’s incredulous call verbatim:
“And it’s a line drive kick. Jackson bobbles it, and now has to try and recover it… DeSean Jackson… GETS A BLOCK!! ARE YOU KIDDING?!? DESEAN JACKSON… STILL NOT IN AND NOW IN FOR THE TOUCHDOWN NO FLAGS. UNNNN-BELIEVABLE! NO TIME LEFT. EAGLES WIN.
Everyone remembers where they were when this play went down. There are very few NFL players, if any, who could have pulled off such a play. Eagles fans are lucky to have had DeSean Jackson.