The Philadelphia Eagles host the San Francisco 49ers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. The Eagles will have a familiar face serve as an honorary captain for the game, with DeSean Jackson serving in the role.
Jackson announced his retirement on Friday after a 15-year career in the NFL. He signed a ceremonial contract with the Eagles to retire as a member of the organization he played eight seasons for.
Jackson’s career numbers with the Eagles rank in the team’s top 10 for receiving yards, receptions, and touchdown catches, along with being tied for the franchise lead for punt returns for touchdowns.
DeSean Jackson’s Career With the Eagles
Jackson was the seventh wide receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft when the Eagles selected him with the 49th overall pick in the second round. The Green Bay Packers selected Jordy Nelson, who had 72 touchdown receptions, with the 36th overall pick. The other five wide receivers drafted ahead of Jackson combined for 56 touchdown catches compared to the 58 that Jackson caught during his career.
Jackson had 356 receptions for 6,117 yards and caught 32 touchdowns in his first six seasons with the Eagles. He also averaged 9.9 yards per punt return and scored four touchdowns. Jackson made the Pro Bowl three times, twice as a wide receiver and once as a kick returner.
The Miracle at the New Meadowlands
One of the worst moments in the history of the New York Giants is the Miracle at the Meadowlands, when the Giants were trying to run out the clock against the Eagles in a home game in 1978. Philadelphia was out of timeouts when Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik fumbled in the last 30 seconds, and Eagles defensive back Herman Edwards picked up the ball and ran 26 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
In 2010, in a game played in the Giants’ new stadium, Jackson added another chapter to the Giants-Eagles rivalry when he had one of the defining moments of his career. New York took a 31-10 lead early in the fourth quarter on an Eli Manning touchdown pass.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick led a comeback by throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another to tie the game at 31. The Giants were forced to punt the ball back to the Eagles with 14 seconds left, and Jackson was ready to return. After bobbling the ball, he returned the punt 65 yards for the rare walk-off touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter.
One of the great moments in @Eagles history.
— NFL (@NFL) November 29, 2023
Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie on Jackson, “What made DeSean truly stand out during his accomplished 15-year career was his ability to make miraculous plays look routine.”
We all remember him scooping up the football in New York on that fateful evening in December 2010 and veering his way into the end zone for what is now famously referred to as the ‘Miracle at the New Meadowlands.’
After six seasons with the Eagles, the team released Jackson in March 2014. ESPN reported at the time that there were a number of reasons he was released, including concerns about his work ethic and information the team uncovered about Jackson’s off-field connections and activities.
Jackson went on to play three seasons with Washington and two with Tampa Bay after leaving the Eagles. He had 233 receptions for 4,144 yards and 21 touchdowns from 2014 to 2018.
Philadelphia brought back Jackson after acquiring him in a trade from the Buccaneers in March 2019. Injury setbacks limited his second stint in Philadelphia, where he appeared in ten games over two seasons.
Jackson played with the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders during the 2021 season and finished his career with the Baltimore Ravens in 2022. He finished his 15-year career with 641 receptions, 11,263 yards, and 58 touchdowns.
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