DeSean Jackson and Robert Woods of the Los Angeles Rams have played in 165 and 121 NFL games, respectively. The wide receivers have additionally scored a combined 90 touchdowns.
But the New York Giants and their fans probably recall two touchdowns they delivered…or would rather forget.
Both Ram targets are heading back to the place where they delivered two personal highlights that became revered in NFL lore, and is likely a sore subject for the G-Men to this day.
Here’s a trip down memory lane.
‘D-Jax’s’ Walk-Off Punt Return
The date: December 19, 2010.
The game was tied 31-31 with less than 1:30 left in the game. The Philadelphia Eagles, though, were once down 31-10 before storming back. Yet, all signs indicated this game would head for overtime this late in the game.
The Giants decided to punt the ball away. History followed afterward.
Never before has an NFL game witnessed a punt return become the final clinching TD. This particular play began as disaster for “D-Jax.”
Jackson, then a young 23-year-old, briefly lost control of the punt before re-scooping it. He then backed into his own 30-yard line with two Giant special teamers closing in on him and having two nearby blockers. Sixty-five yards separated Jackson from the end zone.
But no knee was taken. Neither a run to the sidelines to allow the Eagle offense one more shot to win the game. “D-Jax” executed, arguably, the most exhilarating punt return of all time.
Jackson zipped past the first diving tackle. His speed left behind six Giants behind the 35-yard line. One more dive attempt at Jackson misfired. The punter also failed to trip him up.
“Are you kidding?!” Fox Sports play-by-play man Joe Buck blurted through the broadcast headset.
Jackson scored on the rare walk-off punt return.
Not only is it a play that lives forever in Jackson’s career and in Eagles’ lore, but even got a “Holy S—” response from notable Philadelphia native and NBA legend, the late Kobe Bryant.
It was a play so exhausting, even Jackson himself had to gather himself, saying “I just need a few minutes” to reporters right after the game.
It became known as “The Miracle at the Meadowlands.” Seven years later, “Bobby Trees” delivered his Meadowlands Moment.
‘Trees’ Delivers on 3rd & way Long
The date: November 5, 2017.
Former Rams QB Jared Goff shredded the Giants with 311 yards and four touchdown passes. But it was one second quarter Goff to Woods connection that really snapped the spine of the Giants’ defense.
It was 3rd and 33 with less than 9:40 left in the second quarter and the Rams sitting at their own 48. In this scenario, most offenses settle for either a simple play to get out of this predicament and send the punt team out or roll the dice and aim to get a field goal out of it.
L.A. settled for a simple bubble screen to Woods. But the rest was history.
Woods, with two blockers in front of him, cut to his right and found more real estate. With five Giants behind him, plus two to his right, Woods still chose to trust his speed and instincts.
The end result? The Rams went from needing 33 yards for their first down to getting into the end zone to go up 17-7.
The rout was on after that as the Rams cruised to the easy 51-17 romp.
Is an Encore Imminent?
“D-Jax” and “Bobby Trees” are older now at a combined 63 years of age.
However, both are heading to MetLife Stadium with momentum on their side. Jackson caught a 68-yard bomb in his last game against Seattle on Thursday, October 7 and two weeks prior, torched the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a 75-yard bomb. Woods carved up the Seahawks with a season-best 12 catches for 150 yards.
Jackson isn’t expected to field punts, so that’s good news for the special teams unit of NYG. However, the Giants are entering this game with the league’s 22nd ranked pass defense.
Don’t be shocked if there’s another Meadowlands moment from one Ram or the other.