Special Teams Shine In Eagles Comeback Win

The Philadelphia Eagles are one win away from clinching the NFC East- and a large part of it is because of their special teams play today.

All season the fans and many local media people (me being one of them) have ripped the special teams for their poor play, and early in the season, rightfully so.

But the fact is that recently the special teams has stepped up under Bobby April recently. Looking at the numbers paints a very different picture of the special teams unit. The fact is, the Eagles punt return and kick off units have not allowed a touchdown all season,and give up less then the average team in the NFL does in returns. These numbers are ones that most fans do not know, and have blasted the special teams because they watch the game and don’t see any big plays.

Well that changed today, and how well this unit has been playing recently it all came to the forefront.

The Eagles were only able to get their rally started today because of the onside kick that was beautifully executed. The offense had just scored to make it 31-17, which made the game within striking distance with less then 8 minutes to play. The defense had let up a touchdown on their last possession, and could ill afford to let up anymore.

While an onside kick was not a must at that point in the game, it was still something the Giants should have at least been aware of.  The second Bobby April saw that the Giants didn’t even have their “hands team” on the field, he went for the onside kick. David Akers- who is 8 for 18 in his career on onside kicks- kicked the ball beautifully, making it practically look like a pass to Riley Cooper.

The onside kick caught the Giants so off guard that they did not even turn around before Cooper had the ball. The possession allowed the Eagles to score another touchdown and turn it into a one possession game.

With the game on the line, the special teams came through again for the Birds.

First off, it is nice to know that despite an occasional shank, Sav Rocca is coached well enough and is smart enough to not kick that ball the way Giants punter Matt Dodge did. To kick that ball with such low velocity to DeSean Jackson might have been the dumbest play of the day.

Once Jackson got the ball, his punt return was a thing of beauty, getting key blocks from Dmitri Patterson and Jason Avant to get him into the endzone. DeSean Jackson said after the game that he saw a lane, and took advantage of it.Not many people expected a big special teams play to win the game today, but it did.

Bobby April should be applauded for the performance his unit turned in today. It’s not many times you see a “walk off punt”, but thats exactly what this unit

6 thoughts on “Special Teams Shine In Eagles Comeback Win

  1. Yes indeed! This is the type of specials teams play I’ve been waiting to see all season, Akers is the best kicker in the league! …DJAX is a beast! The whole team went hard, showed, poise and never gave up, thats the way I live my life, thats the way my team played, Real Talk! Can’t say much else about it! Lets go Eagles!

    I’ve watched the fourth quarter 3 times already…lol

  2. Is it great or what right now to be a philly sports fan

    No disrespect to Brady but if the eagles win out, Vick is bar none the MVP.
    The Term is most valuable player and right now the eagles are not where they are with out Vick.
    I’ll be the first to admit that i thought Vick looked lame this preseason but right now this is something unprecedented. If Kolb was back behind this line he would have gotten killed. One more thing, why when they talk coach of the year, andy reid is never mentioned. Yes, he is not the best game manager but, come on people, Vick was good but he was raw, and considering the prison stint, he was really raw. Reid and Morningweig have polished him into the most dangerous player in the NFL. Reid also made a decision to go to vick, which as much as the vick chest beaters would like to think other wise, was not an easy decision. I think the reason andy was so happy is because he knows this is not fools gold. This is the start of something really really special. Think about it…. This is a really young team, with a few good personnel decisions, this team could be a powerhouse for the next 5 years.

  3. That onside kick was huge. I can’t believe the Giants players were running backwards to block! That was crazy… I’m so glad that we kept Riley Cooper and not Hank Wilkinson….Bush league move by Coughlin, calling out his rookie punter on the field….Second greatest call by Merrill Reese on Desean’s TD (Miracle I has to still be tops on the list–“I don’t believe it!!”), with bonus points to Mike Quick for his.”This is the Miracle in the Meadowlands Part II !”

  4. Best post from another site:

    He has Welker, since joining the Patriots prior to the 2007 season, Welker leads the NFL with a total of 346 receptions (112 in 2007, 111 in 2008 and 123 in 2009) and leads the NFL with 7.5 receptions per game.

    Branch was awarded the Pete Rozelle Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXIX. His 11 receptions in the game tied the Super Bowl record, also achieved by Jerry Rice and Dan Ross.

    Just let Moss go – HOF

    Even Woodhead has an impressive resume
    Won two consecutive Harlon Hill Trophies honoring the best player in Division II.
    Finished his college career with 7,962 yards, which was the most in NCAA history at the time and 9,749 all-purpose yards, which was second all-time.
    He rushed for 200 yards in 19 games and scored 654 points with 109 touchdowns.
    His 2,756 rushing yards in 2006 is an all-time NCAA record.

    Not to mention one of the nicest offensive lines!

    Any NFL qb can pick you apart if given time, I’m not questioning the greatness – but lets see what he did when faced with the Giants front four breathing down his throat – Oh I forgot we did see what happened – a Super Bowl loss

    — despy22nd

  5. OK Mr. Bobby April…….you have the special teams going in the right direction…..the on-sides kick was a thing of beauty, and a real momentum changer…the punt return is something that will forever be in every eagles fans head….I criticized you earlier in the year, but you have gotten the job done!! Thanks!!

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