Today's Names to Know: DeSean Jackson, Mike Vick, Matt Dodge, Matt Flynn, Dan Connolly, Ti Tebow, NFC West, Rex Grossman, UConn women's hoops, Zack Greinke, Grant Hill and More.
So: That DeSean Jackson walk-off punt-return-for-a-TD. Good gosh -- and made all the more dramatic coming at the end of a massive 4th-quarter rally for the Eagles. On the road, in New York, their biggest division playoff rival this season.
I don't blame Jackson for hot-dogging at the goal-line (although I really do think that it was a combo of wanting to be flashy and legitimately wanting to ensure the clock had run out). He is one of the glitziest players in the league, in an unprecedentedly glitzy situation. What did you THINK he was going to do?
(Meanwhile: Poor Matt Dodge, goat emeritus for Giants fans. The Giants punter screwed up. Undoubtedly, he knew he screwed up. Given that Tom Coughlin is going to cut him today, assuredly, when he was being reamed on national TV by his coach, Dodge should have shouted back: "Do you NOT think I get it?")
MVP Watch: With two weeks to go -- and after yesterday's comeback -- I have absolutely no problems putting Mike Vick at the top of the list. (And I say that having had Vick likely cost me a title in the P&G fantasy league -- which would have netted me $10K for charity and a trip to the Super Bowl. Oh, well. Speaking of fantasy, HEY RAY RICE: WHERE WAS THAT BEFORE?)
Meanwhile, kudos to Dan Connolly, the Pats offensive lineman who became an instant star after his 73-yard kickoff return/rumble just before halftime. Frankly, given how close this game was -- and did ANYONE see that coming? -- it was the pivotal play of the game.
*Jets off the schneid: At Pittsburgh, no less. Wow, did they need that. (Anyone else think that the Steelers were definitely going to score at the end?) So if they can win at Pittsburgh in December, not much excuse for not being able to win a couple of playoff games on the road, is there?
*Tim Tebow's debut as a starter: You could probably hear my whooping up and down the block when he took off for that 40-yard TD run on the game's 2nd series. (And almost as loud when he threw that bomb TD on the very next series.) TDs included, it was a good -- not great -- start. He will get better. The Broncos' problem isn't Tebow; it's the defense.
*The NFC West is insane: With just 2 weeks to go, the 5-9 49ers nearly control their own destiny. If they win out -- no guarantee, obviously -- they only need one small break to find themselves in the playoffs (and hosting a game!) at 7-9. Nothing will hasten playoff-seeding reform like that kind of result.
*Rex Grossman: Admit it -- not nearly as bad as you thought he'd be. (Again, as with Tebow and the Broncos, the Redskins' problem wasn't Grossman; it was letting the Cowboys score 30+ points.)
*Congrats to the Lions for finally winning on the road. (Signature victory of Detroit's Calvin Johnson Era?)
*UConn women's hoops win 88th straight: You might have missed the game yesterday because you were watching football. No excuses not to watch the record-breaker on Tuesday. It is going to be something you want to be able to say you saw first-hand.
*Brewers get Zack Greinke: The Royals had to move him for the right package; unfortunately for KC fans, it'll take years to know whether it pans out. Gratification is more immediate for Brewers fans: Greinke joins a stacked rotation that should have Milwaukee the favorite in the NL Central.
*NBA Last Night: Vintage Grant Hill. As the league still settles down from the huge pair of Orlando trades, the new-look Suns were supremely old school last night -- Grant Hill had 30 and 10 in a Suns win over Oklahoma City (and that was without the new players from Orlando). Has to rank among the best single-game performances from an NBA player age 38 or older. (Given his age and the circumstances, possibly the most impressive performance of his career.)
More later, including a Quickish update.