Eagles Insider

Jake Elliott searching for answers: 'It kills me inside'

Eagles Insider

Jake Elliott has gone from one of the NFL's most accurate kickers to one of the least.

"It kills me inside," he said.

Of 33 kickers who've attempted at least 10 field goals this year, Elliott ranks 29th at 72.2 percent — far below the NFL average of 84.3 percent.

Since signing a massive five-year, $19.3 million contract last November, he's just 21-for-30.

And a disappointing season turned into a disaster Sunday when he missed a 22-yard attempt — the shortest miss by an Eagles kicker in 27 years.

Elliott is searching for answers.

"It's frustrating," he said. "I would say from the other day, it's embarrassing, for the lack of a better term. In my profession, if you're not perfect it's a bad day so it was a bad day. Unfortunately, I missed that one and I've had a couple now. I just have to get back to work. I'm excited to get back out there today and just kind of work through this thing. It's a tough position as far as that goes because you only get so many opportunities and when I get them I have to capitalize."

At the point he signed his contract extension before the Dolphins game last November, Elliott had made 74 of 84 field goal attempts in his career, and his 88.1 percent accuracy was 4th-highest in NFL history.

In 2017, he became the only kicker to make two 40-yard field goals in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl, and his 46-yarder was the longest ever by a rookie in a Super Bowl.

 

What happened to that guy?

Elliott said the contract has nothing to do with his struggles, even though that's exactly when they started. 

"I don't think that's changed me as a person, I don't think that's changed me as a player at all," he said Wednesday. "I still show up to work and do the same thing every day. I work my tail off. It's really, really important to me. I'm going to go out there and work and get this thing right. I know it's urgent and I know that it needs to be fixed."

Elliott also had a 29-yard miss against the Giants earlier this year, and he's missed two PATs. 

His two misses inside 30 yards match the total number of misses inside 30 by every other Eagles kicker over the last 20 years.

The league average inside 30 yards is 95 percent. 

Why is he missing the chip shots?

"It's just me coming out of my follow-through too soon," Elliott said. "I think that's tended to happen to me a couple times on some of the shorter ones, I'm looking up too early or whatever it may be. I've just really got to hone in on making good contact and finishing my swing."

Because of his contract, it would be difficult for the Eagles to cut Elliott.

If they released him after this season, he would count nearly $5½ million in dead money in 2021 as opposed to a $3.3 million cap figure if he's here.

So it pays for them to hope he gets this figured out.

"I'm always going to be confident in myself, and I understand that the way a lot of people see it is kickers can kind of get in a funk and get in their own head, and that's easy to do," he said. "But for me, it's all about just getting back out there and having a good day today, that's of the utmost importance. That's the best way to get your confidence back. Going back out there and making kicks."

It sounds so easy. For Elliott, it's been the hardest thing in the world.

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