Yes, I know, after just one season, that seems like a pretty ridiculous headline. I am in no way saying Cody Parkey is currently the best kicker in Philadelphia Eagles history, nor am I guaranteeing he will be. But, he quietly had one of the best individual seasons for a kicker in Eagles history, and he was only a rookie. If he were to keep this up over a long period of time, he definitely could be the team’s best kicker ever.
First, let’s quickly recap what Parkey has done in the NFL thus far. First, he was an undrafted rookie last year, and the Eagles traded running back David Fluellen in the preseason to the Colts to acquire him. Shortly after joining the team, he made an immediate splash. He made two 50+ yard field goals in the team’s fourth preseason game last year, and subsequently beat out Alex Henery for the starting job, who had a complete breakdown in the 2013 postseason and 2014 preseason.
From then, Parkey quickly was one of the best kickers in not only the NFC, but the whole league. In Week 2, he kicked a game-winning 36-yard field goal to beat the Colts, his former team. In Week 8, he made a 54-yard field goal, tied for the third longest in franchise history. In Week 12, he made five field goals against the Titans, tied for second most in a game in franchise history.
By the end of the season, he was already all over the team’s record books. His 32 made field goals were tied for second most in a single season in team history, and his 17 straight made field goals was tied for the second longest streak in team history. His 54 PAT attempts and makes were both the most in Eagles history for a single season. But most importantly, he scored 150 points in 2014. That was the most for any player ever in a single season for the Eagles. And don’t forget it was his first season ever in the NFL. He eventually finished up the season as a first alternate for the Pro Bowl, later making it into the game to replace Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who had to play in the Super Bowl.
Now, the one dangerous thing to remember about kickers is they can totally fall off a cliff in terms of accuracy and production. Alex Henery, who looked downright awful last preseason, had a great rookie season as well. He set many franchise records, but then went on to apparently psych himself out and lose his job. Now it seems like he can barely make a field goal. There’s always the possibility that it could happen to Parkey, but obviously, there’s no way to know.
David Akers is probably everyone’s pick for, at this moment, the best kicker in Eagles history. His name is all over the franchise record books, and is by far the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,323 points (the next highest is Bobby Watson at just 881 points).
But hypothetically, let’s say Parkey lasts eight more seasons with the team and scores an average of about 125 points (25 points lower than what he scored in 2014, so possibly a low estimate). At that rate, after nine total seasons, he’d have accumulated 1,150 points. That’s still lower than Akers, who played 12 seasons with the team. If Parkey played 12 years with the team and averaged 125 points per year, he would have scored 1,500 points, much higher than Akers.
While it’s impossible to accurately predict things like this, the bottom line is that Parkey had an historic season last year and is on pace to do great things. He could either become the team’s next Henery, or continue this greatness and become the next Akers (or better). Even if he doesn’t quite live up to what Akers did, he’s still has the potential to be one of the greatest kickers in Eagles history.
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