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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