Between Nick Foles, Jeremy Maclin, Zach Ertz, Brandon Graham, and Connor Barwin, there are no shortage of offensive and defensive contributors to credit for the Eagles come from behind victory yesterday against the Jaguars, but it may not have been possible without the performance of the special teams unit.
The Eagles lost seven contests last season, and special teams were a big factor in at least four of them with the Chargers, Chiefs, Vikings, and Saints game all coming to mind. Yesterday, Dave Fipp’s unit helped swing momentum and steal one.
We already have spent a ton of time talking about how Cody Parkey was awesome. I have no idea what this kid is going to turn into, but counting the preseason finale, he is now 5-for-5 on field goals with three longer than 50 yards.
The 51-yard kick to tie the score in the fourth quarter looked like it would have been good from 55 or 56. His kickoffs were also insane.
|Game #||Opponent||Kickoff Number||End zone||Touchback||Starting Field Position||Average Starting Field Position|
Before Parkey stole the show though, there was Brandon Bair, blocking a Josh Scobee 36-yard field goal attempt that the Jags kicker likely makes 98 out of 100 times as long as he gets it off. At the time, it would have put the Jaguars up 20-0.
But wait, there’s more! Darren Sproles averaged 15.5 yards on punt returns. We knew this already, but Donnie Jones was just ridiculous. He had six punts, and five of them pinned the Jaguars inside their own 20. One landed at the Jacksonville one on a great special teams play by Brandon Boykin, and the only punt not inside the Jaguars 20 was attempted from the Eagles own 12.
Here is Jones’ day in chart form:
|Punt Number||Ball Spotted Before Punt||Ball Spotted After Punt||Net Yards|
|1||Eagles 37||Jaguars 11||52|
|2||Jaguars 40||Jaguars 11||39|
|3||Eagles 12||Jaguars 47||41|
|4||Jaguars 39||Jaguars 9||30|
|5||Jaguars 49||Jaguars 10||39|
|6||Jaguars 44||Jaguars 15||29|
On four of those kicks in Jaguars territory, Jones didn’t have a ton of margin for error, and still got the job done. The Jaguars only scored three points off of Jones’ punts as the other 14 were the result of Eagles turnovers.
Perhaps it will not be smooth sailing for 17 weeks, but when the worst thing you can say about the special teams is Darren Sproles calling for a fair catch when he had room to run, things went pretty damn well.
Hey, Eagles special teams: