The Eagles still have one major concern following their 3-0 start
I know what you’re thinking. “Look at this asshole trying to nitpick our Philadelphia Eagles after a dominating 3-0 start to the season.” I get it, but I wouldn’t be fulfilling my duties as a true Eagles fan unless I found something to complain about.
Truthfully, there isn’t much to complain about at the moment. Both sides of the ball have had outstanding performances throughout the first three weeks of the season.
Offensively, the Eagles lead the league in total offense and average 6.4 yards per play, second to only Baltimore. On the defensive side, Jonathan Gannon’s group has surrendered a combined 15 points over the past two weeks and are fresh off a nine-sack outing in Washington.
Philly’s special teams unit, however, has left a lot to be desired through three weeks of action.
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Aside from Pro Bowl kicker Jake Elliot, the Eagles’ special teams hasn’t been very special this season. Far from it, in fact.
Philly ranks 28th in kick off returns, averaging just 10.2 yards per return. They allow 23.7 yards per return, which ranks 25th in the NFL.
Punter Arryn Siposs, who many believed would be replaced this offseason, hasn’t been all that impressive this season either. He’s averaging 45.6 yards per punt, 23rd in the NFL. His punt coverage team has given up 6.6 yards per punt return, which also ranks 23rd in the league.
Not only has Michael Clay‘s special teams unit been underwhelming, they’ve committed a handful of boneheaded mistakes in key moments.
Under the Monday night lights in Week 2, the Vikings nearly re-gained momentum after blocking a field goal in the third quarter. Thanks to Siposs’ hustle in tracking down the ball carrier and Avonte Maddox’s interception on the ensuing possession, any hope of a Minnesota comeback was thwarted.
Eagles P Arryn Siposs makes a TD saving tackle against Minnesota
The special teams blunders carried over into Week 3, where Clay’s unit again almost gave the opposing team a chance at a comeback.
Blunder No. 1 came in the second quarter with the Eagles holding a 10-point lead. Tress Way’s punt caught a bit of a wind and punt returner Britain Covey had trouble judging it, ultimately muffing the punt and setting up the offense at their own six-yard line.
Later on in the contest, Washington lined up for a 47-yard field goal to cut the Eagles lead to 17. Rookie DT Jordan Davis inexplicably lined up over the long snapper, incurring a personal foul penalty and giving the Commanders a first-and-goal opportunity.
Once again, the Eagles defense bailed them out, forcing Washington to turn it over on downs.
None of these mistakes ended up costing the Eagles wins. After all, when your offensive and defensive units are playing at an elite level, you can get away with some subpar special teams play. Nevertheless, these are the kinds of issues that could hurt the Eagles down the line if they’re not careful.
In close matchups, with the game on the line, a special teams blunder could be the difference between a win and a loss. We’ve seen it happen before.
If the Eagles want to truly take that leap into elite territory, their special teams unit will need to step it up.
Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Eagles