Eagles

Is it time to start worrying about Eagles' Jake Elliott?

ap_jake_elliott_eagles.jpg
AP Images

Is it time to start worrying about Eagles' Jake Elliott?

Is it time to worry about Jake Elliott? 

The Eagles’ second-year kicker made 1 of 2 field goals last week and has now made just 11 of 15 field goal attempts this season (73.3) percent. Look, there’s a long list of things that are wrong with the Eagles right now and the kicker probably isn’t up there, but it’s still a little troubling. 

There are 23 kickers in the NFL who have attempted at least 10 field goals this season. Elliott ranks 22nd among them in field goal percentage. Among qualified players (who have at least one attempt per team’s games played), Elliott is ranked 29th in the NFL in FG percentage. 

This seems like a reason for concern. 

But Doug Pederson says he isn’t. 

No concern, quite frankly. The other day it was extremely windy. Our kicker missed; their kicker missed. It's a tough situation. I have a lot of confidence in him. He can hit it from short, he can hit it from long. A lot of confidence in him.

Last Sunday’s game against the Panthers was very windy. In fact, Elliott called it the windiest game he’s ever played in. He made a 46-yarder with the wind and badly missed a 36-yarder wide right going against it. 

But even if the Eagles didn’t try that 36-yarder against the wind, Elliott’s field goal percentage would still be just 78.6 percent and that would still rank him 20th on the list of kickers who have attempted 10 field goals. That ain’t great. 

“I’m not worried at all right now,” Elliott said. “I’m hitting the ball really well. I had a great week of practice and I’m trying to build on that each week.”

We can look at all of Elliott’s four misses individually:

• That 36-yarder last week in the wind was tough. He pushed it wide right. 

• Two of his misses are from 50-plus: a 54-yarder against the Giants went wide right and a 55-yarder against the Colts hooked wide left. 

• That means his worst kick of the season was the 42-yarder he missed against the Bucs at the end of the first half in Week 2. He pushed it and hit the right upright. That kick would have made it a 10-point game at half; instead, the Eagles were down 13 after two quarters and went on to lose. 

Even those long kicks aren’t entirely excusable. Elliott was 5 for 6 from 50-plus last year and part of the reason the Eagles really like him is that of his big leg. And this season, NFL kickers are hitting 65.2 percent of their kicks from 50-plus yards. 

Is there a common theme with these misses? 

“There’s been some really long ones this year, ones that I’ve missed,” he said. “I don’t know. Obviously, you want to make them all but sometimes that doesn’t happen.”

The good news is that Elliott said the operation between him, new holder Cameron Johnston and long snapper Rick Lovato has been solid. And the other good news is that he and Pederson are still confident in his ability. Elliott clearly has plenty of it. 

But it’s completely fair to look at his season so far and start to worry just a little bit. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Doug Pederson is right — 7 points was worst part of blowout loss to Saints

Doug Pederson is right — 7 points was worst part of blowout loss to Saints

The score is still shocking to see on paper — 48-7. 

You’ve heard all about it over the last day. It’s the worst loss a defending champion has ever suffered. It’s the sixth-worst loss in franchise history. It’s a final score you guys rightfully ripped the Eagles for just after the game ended (see story.) 

On Monday afternoon, I wondered what part of that score bothered Doug Pederson more: the 48 or the 7. So I asked him. 

And he didn’t hesitate at all. 

The seven points we scored because we had more plays out on the field that we left, after watching the film again today. So that's the disappointing thing, that we didn't do a better job offensively and score more points in this game.

The 48, listen, they're a good football team. Let's not kid ourselves there. That's a good football team, and we knew we were going to have to score points, but, yeah, the seven points is probably more disappointing.

Yeah, he’s right. At least on this topic. 

The Saints score a lot of points. We knew this going into Sunday’s game. They put up 51 points the previous week and were averaging 36.7 points per game. The Eagles weren’t going to just shut down Drew Brees and that offense. We all went into the game on Sunday thinking the offense had to put up 40 points if the Eagles were going to have a chance. Then they scored seven. 

So the Eagles’ defense gave up 48 points to a Hall of Fame quarterback, but they have a secondary that has been completely decimated by injuries this year and even in this game. By the end of Sunday night, Brees was picking apart three corners who weren’t on the roster a month ago (see story). Now, that still isn’t an excuse to get torched as badly as they did and even before Avonte Maddox, Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas went down, Brees was picking them apart. 

But we expected the Saints to score. That’s what they do. 

They Saints also give up points and yards through the air. At least they did before they faced the Eagles. Coming into Sunday, the Saints were giving up 25.8 points per game and 296 yards through the air. The Eagles scored seven and Wentz had just 156 passing yards. 

As bad as the defense has been at certain points this season, it’s not the biggest problem. This offense isn’t getting the job done. They have still scored just 21 points in first quarters this year — just 2.1 per game — and on Sunday never found a rhythm. 

This is an offense with a franchise quarterback, an offensive line that’s supposed to be good and several weapons, including a trade deadline acquisition of Golden Tate. That offense sputtered on Sunday and has sputtered for most of the season. 

It takes a lot for 48 points given up on defense to not be the biggest problem in a game. But that’s exactly what happened on Sunday. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Roob Knows Podcast: One of the worst losses in team history

usa_wentz.jpg
USA Today Images

Roob Knows Podcast: One of the worst losses in team history

On this edition of Roob Knows, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro recap the debacle in New Orleans. 

Who should own the most responsibility for the loss? Are there coaches already on the hot seat?

Roob gives some rather forgettable stats. However, is there hope for a division title with the injury to Alex Smith?

Subscribe and rate the Roob Knows podcast: 
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

1:00 - What happened?
6:00 - Doug Pederson and Mike Groh overmatched without Frank Reich?
11:00 - Saints were playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" often.
13:00 - Alarming lack of takeaways from the defense.
17:00 - Doug deserves most of the blame.
22:00 - Carson Wentz deserves criticism.
28:30 - With Alex Smith gone for the season, do the Eagles have a shot at the division?
34:00 - Some forgettable stats from Sunday's loss.
39:30 - How was New Orleans?