The New York Jets won in historic fashion. The New York Giants found a new way to lose a National Football League game.
The Jets ended a two-game losing streak with a 22-17 win yesterday in Pittsburgh, their first victory ever in 12 games in the state of Pennsylvania.
The Giants blew a 21-point fourth-quarter lead in a 38-31 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that ended with DeSean Jackson’s 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. It was the first time in NFL history that a player scored on a winning punt return as time expired.
“I’ve never been around anything like this in my life,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business.”
The Eagles scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to erase a 31-10 deficit and claim sole possession atop the National Football Conference’s East Division with two regular-season games left.
The Atlanta Falcons became the first NFC team to clinch a playoff spot by extending their winning streak to eight games with a 34-18 win against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Falcons’ 12-2 record is tied with the New England Patriots for best in the NFL. The Patriots, who had already earned a postseason berth, pushed their winning streak to six by beating the Green Bay Packers 31-27 last night.
The Steelers locked up a playoff berth yesterday despite their loss to the Jets. The Chicago Bears can claim a playoff spot tonight with a win in Minnesota.
Jets’ Eagles’ Comeback
The Eagles scored four touchdowns in the final seven minutes, 43 seconds to erase a 31-10 deficit at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Quarterback Michael Vick threw for three touchdowns and added a rushing score for the Eagles, who improved to 10-4 and won both regular-season meetings against the Giants.
“I’ll tell you what, my heart is a little weaker after this one,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said during a news conference. “That was special.”
The Giants (9-5), who fell into second place in the NFC East, had led by 21 points with 8:17 left after quarterback Eli Manning threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game.
“We let one slip out of our hands,” Giants defensive end Justin Tuck told reporters. “We had an opportunity to basically seal up the NFC East and lost it.”
Jackson’s fourth career kick return for a touchdown completed a comeback engineered by Vick, who completed 21 of 35 passes for 242 yards. He had 94 of his 130 yards rushing in the fourth quarter.
New York has lost six straight games against the Eagles since its last win on Dec. 9, 2007.