Eagles

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

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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. 

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Eagle Eye Podcast: Reacting to the Carson Wentz story

Eagle Eye Podcast: Reacting to the Carson Wentz story

Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks discuss the Carson Wentz story from PhillyVoice. Regardless of how factual the story was, this will add pressure on Wentz next season.

The guys react to a thrilling and extremely controversial championship weekend in the NFL. How much of an officiating problem does the NFL have?

1:00 - Initial thoughts on the Carson Wentz story from PhillyVoice.
7:00 - Derrick's in the locker room daily. What is the environment there?
11:00 - Added pressure on Wentz next season.
16:00 - Saints get jobbed.
23:00 - Patriots are amazing.

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Lane Johnson replaces Tyron Smith on NFC Pro Bowl roster

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USA Today Images

Lane Johnson replaces Tyron Smith on NFC Pro Bowl roster

Lane Johnson finally got the Pro Bowl nod he deserves.

Johnson will replace injured Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith in the annual AFC-NFC All-Star game, scheduled for this weekend in Orlando, Florida. Johnson was originally snubbed when the team was announced in December.

This is Johnson’s second straight Pro Bowl selection. He was unable to play last year because the Eagles were on their way to the Super Bowl.

Johnson is the fifth Eagle now represented on the NFC Pro Bowl team. Brandon Brooks, Zach Ertz and Fletcher Cox were on the original roster and Malcolm Jenkins was also an injury replacement. 

The Eagles’ current starting line now has a total of 13 Pro Bowls to their name. Jason Peters has been picked to seven and Johnson, Brooks and Jason Kelce two apiece.

That’s a far cry from the nearly two-decade period from 1982 through 2000, when the Eagles didn’t have a single offensive lineman selected to a Pro Bowl.

After serving a 10-game suspension for a positive test for a banned substance in 2016, his second suspension, Johnson vowed that he would be as good a player without taking supplements as he was before his suspensions.

Since then he’s played two full seasons and made the Pro Bowl in each one.

The Eagles are 26-9 with Johnson in uniform during the regular season since 2016 and 50-29 with him in uniform since the Eagles drafted him in the first round in 2013. Including the playoffs, they’re 54-30 when Johnson plays. 

Johnson has a Pro Bowl escalator in his contract, which increases the base salary of each remaining year of his contract by $500,000, so his base goes from $790,000 this year to $840,000 and increases by $500,000 the next three years also — to $11,150,000 in 2019, $9,335,000 in 2020 and $8,815,000 in 2021.

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