The 2019 NFL offseason has begun for the Philadelphia Eagles, which means Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson will spend the next couple of weeks evaluating the 2018 roster. It’s time to start figuring out what this team needs to do to get back to the Super Bowl. Today we’ll continue this roster outlook series by looking at the kicker position.
Regular season stats: 26 field goals made on 31 attempts (no attempts from 1-19 yards, 7/7 from 20-29 yards, 10/11 from 30-39 yards, 7/8 from 40-49 yards, 2/5 from 50+ yards), longest made field goal of 56 yards, 33/35 on extra points, 67.8 yards per kickoff attempt (15th out of 34 kickers)
Playoff stats: 1 field goal made on 1 attempt (43 yards), 3/3 on extra points
Review: Despite having identical field goal stats (26/31) as last year, Elliott showed some improvement in 2018. He only missed one field goal from the 30-39 range in 2018 whereas he missed three in 2017. Elliott also missed one fewer extra point than he did in 2017, though he also had seven fewer tries. Three of Elliott’s missed field goals in 2018 were from 50 yards and beyond, which is more forgivable. Elliott really only had two painful misses in 2018. One was a 36-yard field goal attempt against the Panthers in Week 7. If Elliott makes that, the Eagles are ultimately able to kick a short field goal for the win instead of trying to go for a touchdown and turning the ball over on fourth downs. Perhaps the “Carson Wentz isn’t clutch!” narrative looks a little different. And speaking of that narrative, Elliott also missed an extra point in Week 14 against the Cowboys that didn’t help Wentz. If Elliott makes a 33-yard try in Dallas, the Eagles are able to take a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter instead of merely tying the game at 23-23 and sending it into overtime. Elliott can certainly afford to improve even more with extra points considering he finished 20th out of kicker in XP% in 2018 and 25th in 2017.
Outlook: Elliott can leave you feeling frustrated on occasion but he’s typically come up clutch in big spots. His Week 16 game-winner against the Texans is a reminder of that very fact. Elliott will officially be the Eagles’ kicker in 2019 after the team gives him a minimum contract offer this offseason since he’s an exclusive-rights free agent.
Jake Elliott: Stay or go?
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FREE AGENCY OR TRADES
NFL DRAFT OPTIONS
If anything, the Eagles could look to sign an undrafted rookie free agent kicker to “compete” with Elliott. But they could easily just save that roster spot and have Elliott run unopposed for the second year in a row.