A return to the Meadowlands may be just the cure DeSean Jackson has been looking for.
The Eagles wide receiver's production has slipped in each of last five games he has played, and last week he was benched after he overslept and was late for a special teams meeting. Oh, and he doesn't have the contract extension that he said Monday made it difficult to be happy at work.
But Jackson said Friday that he's refocused and determined to end the season on a high. He may need to if he wants to remain in Philadelphia.
"I've found a place where my mind is clear, and I just want to do everything I can to just finish out the season and do what I need to do to better this team," Jackson said.
A trip up the New Jersey Turnpike, back to the scene of his miracle, game-winning punt return last season, could spark the receiver and perhaps the Eagles. Jackson and the Eagles haven't been the same since he won that December game with a 65-yard touchdown as time expired.
"That's one of my favorite places to play, honestly, besides Dallas," Jackson said. "New York is a very hostile place; their crowd and their fans get pumped up."
The Eagles have won their last four at New York. Jackson played a major part in the last two, also scoring punt-return and receiving touchdowns in 2009.
In the Eagles' September home loss to the Giants this season, Jackson was held to just two catches for 30 yards. The following week against San Francisco, he caught six passes for 171 yards. But since then, his numbers and impact have steadily declined.
With injured Jeremy Maclin likely out Sunday, Jackson could prove his worth to the front office.
"I think [I] will come back this week and help out," Jackson said. "You know, I think it's possible."
Nnamdi Asomugha grimaced, shook his head, and collected his thoughts before he answered.
The Eagles cornerback was asked Friday about the two fourth-quarter penalties he has incurred the last two weeks and the resulting criticism. He didn't appear to appreciate the question.
"I have nothing to say that there's criticism over that," Asomugha said. "But there's going to be criticism over every mistake."
Last week, he drew a costly penalty when he was whistled for a neutral-zone infraction on third down. The flag gave the Cardinals another shot at a first down - one they converted - and the Eagles defense was never the same as it helped allow the fifth fourth-quarter comeback by an opponent this season.
A week earlier against Chicago, Asomugha was called for pass interference - again on third down. The Bears padded their lead to six points with a field goal in the eventual Eagles loss.
"There's a couple of plays that get us in the fourth quarter, and that's hurt us," Asomugha said. "It's not something that any of us feed into, like we're a worse team in the fourth quarter."
Asomugha wasn't interested in talking about Giants receiver Victor Cruz, either. In the first meeting, Cruz burned the Eagles for two long touchdowns. Asomugha missed tackling the receiver on the first and was outjumped by Cruz on the second.
Guard Evan Mathis was listed as probable. With King Dunlap out with a concussion, Jamaal Jackson is Mathis' backup at left guard. . . . Brandon Graham is questionable with a bruised rib, even though he practiced all week. . . . Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is out with a high ankle sprain. Joselio Hanson will take his place as the nickel corner.
New York linebacker Michael Boley, who wears the headset helmet that connects him with defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, is doubtful for the game with a hamstring strain. Someone whom Fewell preferred not to identify will be wearing the wired-up helmet Sunday night.
Boley's key position in the Giants' effort to contain LeSean McCoy will have to be manned by a rookie. It could be inspirational cancer survivor Mark Herzlich, the Conestoga High graduate; last week's fill-in, Spencer Paysinger; or, on straight passing downs, sixth-rounder Jacquian Williams.
Defensive end Justin Tuck (neck, groin) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot) are questionable. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) is out for Sunday.