Philadelphia Eagles fans have every right to be concerned about Jake Elliott

Jake Elliott Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Jake Elliott Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Jake Elliott has underperformed recently for the Philadelphia Eagles.

61 yards. The script couldn’t have been written any better. Philadelphia Eagles fans felt like it was a movie when Jake Elliott hit from that distance to beat the New York Giants in 2017. Elliott would go on to have a solid rookie season hitting 39 of 42 extra points and 26 of 31 field goal tries. He was also five of six from 50 yards or more (the most of any Eagles kicker in one season) and 12 of 13 from 40 yards or more (second in Eagles history behind David Akers).

Not only did he hit the 61-yarder, but he also came through versus the then Oakland Raiders on Christmas night. His 35-yarder tied the game with 2:13 left and his 48-yarder put the Eagles up 13-10 with 22 seconds remaining to help clinch home field advantage in the playoffs.

In the playoffs, he connected on every field goal attempt and missed just two extra points helping the Birds win their first Super Bowl. In the divisional round, the Eagles trailed the Atlanta Falcons 10-6 but three Elliott field goals put them ahead 15-10 for good. Everyone remembers the 46-yarder with 1:05 left in the Super Bowl too. There were some mistakes from short range that year that needed to be cleaned up but overall, Philly was pleased with his efforts.

2018 wasn’t too bad as he was 26 of 31 once again. However, he was just two of five from 50 plus yards. He missed a crucial 38-yard field goal in the first quarter of a Week 7 battle with the Carolina Panthers. Carson Wentz and the ‘Birds’ drove down the field to the opposing 14-yard line with under a minute a remaining down 21-17. If Elliott had made that field goal earlier, he would’ve been in a position to kick the game winner from just about 31 yards out. Instead, the Eagles had to go for a touchdown and turned it over on downs. Jake would bounce back later in the year with game winning kicks versus the Giants and Houston Texans to help save the season though, and he was perfect in the playoffs.

Fast forward to 2019 and Elliott didn’t miss a single extra point or field goal through Week 7. In Week 8, he missed an extra point versus the Buffalo Bills but the winds were so high that it appeared even the field goal posts were swaying a bit. On November 27th, he got a five year contract extension and at the time he was 14 of 14 on field goals and 21 of 23 on extra points, one of those with the valid excuse of high winds. Then, the mistakes appeared once again.

The Philadelphia Eagles have not been rewarded since Elliott’s contract extension.

Right after the extension, in an embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins, he missed an 49-yarder in the third quarter. Philly trailed 37-28 in the final minute of the game instead of 37-31 if he had made it. One week later, he missed a 47-yarder versus the Giants and the ‘Birds’ had to win in overtime. Then, versus the Dallas Cowboys in Week 16, Elliott missed 53 and 55 yarders. Sure, they’re not from close range but Jake is expected to make at least one of those. He bounced back the following week and in the Wild Card game but 2020 has not been to kind to him.

In an all-around ugly Week 1 loss, he missed a 53-yarder and the ‘Birds’ trailed 27-17 at the end of the game. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was a miss from 57-yards out which would’ve put the Birds up 32-31 with 3:23 remaining. Then, it was a 52-yarder at the end of the half versus the Baltimore Ravens and the Eagles lost 30-28. Most recently, Jake shanked a 29-yarder versus the Giants.

Since the extension, he is 19 of 27 on field goals (including playoffs) which comes out to a lackluster 70.4 percent. He’s also just two of seven from 50 yards or more. Is everyone still debating whether or not the Eagles should’ve send him out for a 64-yarder versus the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this year?

This is a serious concern moving forward. Long range kicks are never easy and no kicker is perfect but Jake has noticeably struggled in the past 12 games. It’s debatable as to whether the Eagles would’ve still lost some of those games that Jake missed kicks in but the point is that we’ll never know because he did miss them. Hopefully, Elliott can turn this around but this is clearly the worst he has performed in his young career. He could be on his way out with the potential opt out in 2022 if he doesn’t clean this up.