12 days of Christmas Philadelphia Eagles style: 12 fantastic kickers, punters
When it comes to the 12 days of Christmas, forget the partridge in a pear tree. Just give us some kickers, 12 merry kickers from the Philadelphia Eagles family tree.
The holidays are upon us, and though we spend hours, days, and weeks breaking down game film, we wanted to spread some holiday cheer and begin our season of thanks and giving on the right foot, by giving back to the lesser-mentioned and less-appreciated guys on every NFL roster, the kickers and punters.. especially our kickers and punters (both past and recent)
They don’t always get the love, but if your team is ever in need of one, fortune can change in a hurry.
Here are 12 Eagles kickers you’ll remember as we begin our 12 days of Christmas, Birds style.
# 12: Randall Cunningham???
Sure, you’re probably wondering how Randall Cunningham got on the list. He wasn’t a kicker, but he was known to put toe to leather a time or two. Randall was a punter for UNLV from 1982 to 1984. He was a First-Team All-PCAA punter all three years and a First-Team All-American nod in 1983.
Cunningham punted 20 times in the NFL. In 1989, he booted a 91-yarder against the New York Giants, the third-longest punt in NFL history. Hey, they don’t call this guy ‘The Ultimate Weapon’ for nothing!
# 11: Matt Bahr (K)
Matt Bahr joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1979 after playing for the Pennsylvania Stoners of the American Soccer League. In 1993, he went 8-13 on kicks as an Eagle but has Super Bowl rings as both a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants.
# 10: Ove Johansson (K)
Guess who holds the record for the longest field goal in an American football game. It isn’t Justin Tucker. His 66-yard kick is the longest in NFL history, but in 1976, Ove Johansson kicked a record 69-yard field goal for Abilene Christian University.
Thanks to a knee injury, Johansson only played in two NFL games, both for the Eagles. He was the first Swedish-born player to play in the NFL but only made one field goal on four attempts.
# 9: Norm Johnson (K)
Norm Johnson played on four teams during 18 seasons in the NFL. He earned two Pro Bowl selections and led the league with 34 field goals made in 1995.
Johnson’s final NFL season was with the Eagles in 1999. He went 18-25 on kicks, resulting in 79 points.
# 8: Luis Zendejas (K)
When you think of Luis Zendejas, you probably associate him with those Bounty Bowls. He joined the Eagles in 1988 but was cut by coach Buddy Ryan early in the 1989 season.
The Dallas Cowboys picked him up, and as fate would have it, took a vicious hit from Eagles’ linebacker Jesse Small during the teams’ next meeting. Coach Jimmy Johnson later accused Ryan of putting a bounty on Zendejas and quarterback Troy Aikman. Nothing was ever proven, but knowing what we know about BUddy, it’s always been hard to deny that the accusations probably had merit.
# 7: Sean Landeta (P)
Sean Landetta spent 22 years in the NFL. He was an Eagle from 1999-2002 and joined the team for a second run in 2005. In 1999 he led the NFL with 107 punts that amassed 4,524 yards under new head coach Andy Reid.
Landeta started his professional career with the Philadelphia Stars of the USFL and retired as a Philadelphia Eagle. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the ‘80s and ’90s and the Eagles’ 75th Anniversary team in 2007.
# 6: Sav Rocca (P)
Before Jordan Mailata made a name for himself as every Eagles fan’s favorite Australian, there was Sav Rocca. In 2007, the Eagles invited Rocca, a former Australian Rules Football player, to compete for a job, one he earned.
At 33, he became the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL. He spent four years with the team and three more years in Washington. He appeared in 69 games as an Eagle (including five postseason games).
# 5: Jeff Feagles (P)
How can a man named Jeff Feagles not play for the Eagles? Feagles was an Eagle from 1991-1993. In 1991, he led the league with 87 punts. He produced only 11 touchbacks while having 29 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He currently owns the NFL record for consecutive games played (352).
# 4: Jake Elliott
Jake Elliott was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017. The Eagles signed him off their practice squad to replace Caleb Sturgis. That decision worked out well for them.
Since his addition, he’s made 130 field goals. He helped the team win a Super Bowl (he added the final three points to the 41-point total, and he crushed the spirit of every Giants fan with a 61-yard game-winner early in 2017 which, in many ways helped jumpstart the Super Bowl run.
# 3: Mark Mosely
Mark Mosely is mostly remembered for his Washington career, but he was drafted by Philadelphia in 1970. He made the Pro Bowl in 1979 and 1982 and led the league with 161 points in 1983.
In 1982, he became the only special teams player to win the MVP award. Mosley was also the last NFL kicker to use a straight-on kicking style.
# 2: David Akers (K)
Before David Akers destroyed Cowboys fans at the 2018 draft, he was the greatest kicker the Eagles have ever had. He spent 12 seasons with the team and holds team records for points (1,323), field goals (294), and extra points.
He was inducted into the Eagles’ Hall of Fame in 2017. Deservedly so.
# 1: Happy Feller (K)
Feliz Navidad, Mr. Feller. Technically, his name was James Patrick ‘Happy’ Feller. The Eagles took him out of Texas in the 1971 draft.
Feller wasn’t very good. He went 6-20 on field goals in his rookie year, his only season as an Eagle. But so what, his name is Happy Feller; that’s good enough to make this list.
That’s our list. We checked it twice. Hope you enjoyed kicking it with us. Have a safe and happy holiday season.