They don't call him MeSean Jackson for nothing.
One week after getting benched for missing a team meeting, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson had a 50-yard catch wiped out because he flipped the ball at a New York Giants coach in celebration after the play and preened to the sideline. Jackson was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the down was replayed.
Jackson was stupid, but like last week's dumbest NFL move*, he was also the victim of some bad luck. Ordinarily, his 50-yard catch would have stood and the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty would have been assessed after the play. (Making for a net gain of 35 yards.) But because the Giants committed a penalty, the fouls offset and the down was replayed. In essence, the Giants benefited from their own penalty.
* Rex Ryan will have $75,000 to $100,000 less in his bank account on Tuesday morning because a fan with a camera phone and a YouTube account happened to catch the New York Jets coach cursing at a fan.
That still doesn't excuse his actions. Jackson is playing for a free-agent contract. If he flips balls, backpedals into the end zone, drops the ball before the goal line and gets idiotic penalties after big catches when he's underpaid and auditioning for big money, what's he going to do when he gets paid? It's a question that has to be a legitimate concern for the Eagles and any team evaluating how much to offer Jackson in the offseason.
Then again, the spark he brings on the field is undeniable. The Eagles wouldn't score on the drive after the penalty but would get their first touchdown after Jackson's 51-yard punt return put the ball on the 14-yard line late in the first half. And a nice catch-and-run on a crucial third down later in the game set up what would be the game-winning touchdown in Philly's season-saving 17-10 victory.
- DeSean Jackson
- New York Giants
- Philadelphia Eagles