Last season the Philadelphia Eagles made the playoffs by the skin of their teeth, slipping past opponents with seven victories (including the playoffs) by just one score. Of those seven, three were decided by a field goal.
Dating back to the Super Bowl season of 2017, the Eagles won two more games by a field goal or less, including one over the New York Giants where kicker Jake Elliott booted two field goals in the final 51 seconds — including a team-record 61-yarder at the buzzer — to eke out the win.
So as the Eagles look forward to the 2019 season with a healthy quarterback and supercharged offense, the kicking game becomes a facet of the game that could push the Eagles over the top in terms of scoring.
Elliott + Eagles wins
Slated by oddsmakers at 10.5 wins, kicker Elliott figures to have a big hand in achieving those victories.
More importantly, Elliott has not missed a field goal that has cost his team a game throughout his previous two seasons in the NFL, according to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Elliott has been a great asset to the Eagles, connecting on 24-of-26 field-goal attempts inside of 49 yards last season, and going 7-for-11 on kicks longer than 50 yards throughout his career. For his career, he is perfect inside of 30 yards and is a solid 72-for-77 (94 percent) on extra points.
Most telling is coach Doug Pedersen isn’t afraid to call his number when the game is on the line. In that game against the Giants in 2017, Pedersen put the fate of the game on Elliott’s right foot for attempts of 46 and 61 yards in just his second-ever NFL game.
He finished his rookie season with a string of 19-for-21 on field goals, including a perfect 7-for-7 in the playoffs. One of those was a late, 46-yarder in the Super Bowl that pushed the Eagles’ lead to eight points and all but ice the game.
Elliott strong heading into Eagles 2019 season?
Despite the success, Elliott isn’t taking anything for granted. As a kicker in the NFL, Elliott understands he is only as good as his last kick.
Fortunately for him and the Eagles, he’s been pretty good.
“The reality is you never know,” Elliott told the Inquirer. “You could get unlucky, hit a really good ball, and unfortunately it just doesn’t work out. That’s the nature of the business. I don’t think about it so much, but you see it happen to guys who are great kickers.”