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Jake Elliott adds to legend by hitting toughest FG of his impressive career

Jake Elliott made another huge kick on Sunday. This one might have been his toughest yet.

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Jake Elliott has hit plenty of huge field goals during his seven-year Eagles career, but the 59-yarder he nailed to force overtime on Sunday was special.

The degree of difficulty was through the roof.

“I think that was probably, given the conditions and everything, that was probably the toughest one I’ve had to hit,” Elliott said.

Rain fell at the Linc all afternoon and the winds made things even tougher. But facing a 4th-and-17 at the Buffalo 41-yard line and trailing by 3 points with just 25 seconds left in regulation, the Eagles didn’t really have a choice.

Even though 59 yards was beyond the comfortable range established pre-game, the Eagles sent Elliott out there to give it a go.

And the Eagles’ stud kicker drilled a line drive to tie the game at 31-31 and force OT. The Eagles eventually took down the Bills 37-34 in overtime to improve to 10-1 on the season.

“Oh that’s money every time,” DeVonta Smith said. “No doubt it my mind.”

Elliott on the season has hit 8 of 9 field goal attempts in fourth quarter/overtime, including his 54-yard game-winner earlier this season against Washington. He has now made 6 of 7 field goals from 50+ this season and is 19 of 21 overall.

Sometimes players don’t like to watch when a kicker lines up for a huge opportunity like this. Smith said he didn’t blink.

“I’m watching,” Smith said. “If you don’t watch, it’s because you’re scared of what may happen. I know it’s money, so I’m gonna watch it.”

Jason Kelce said he watched it too. And he appreciated Elliott’s making that kick because it was two false start penalties called against Kelce that backed the Eagles up to make it such a difficult attempt in the first place.

Kelce said Elliott “bailed me out pretty big.”

“I think we all feel pretty confident even though it’s a hard kick,” Kelce said. “Jake’s been as good as anybody, especially down the stretch with some meaning behind it since he’s been here. Jake the Make, whatever you want to call him. He’s been huge for us and I think everybody, even though it’s a tough kick, was pretty confident in his ability to go out there and get it done for us.”

Because of the conditions, Elliott said his first responsibility was to make sure the ball had the distance. That meant hitting a line drive, while trusting that the protection would hold up without getting the kick blocked. This kick was a laser that went through the uprights. 

While the open end of the stadium was the more difficult end early in the afternoon, by the time of the 59-yarder late in the fourth quarter, there was more of a cross-wind. “So I appreciated that,” Elliott said with a sly grin.

Elliott, who joined the Eagles during the 2017 season, is the franchise’s all-time leader in 50+ yard kicks with 26 in his career. With all due respect to David Akers, Elliott is most likely going to go down as the greatest kicker in franchise history.

What makes Elliott so special is that when the game is on the line, he always seems to come through. Elliott on Sunday evening said he has always liked being put in those situations, even dating back to high school and college.

“For whatever reason, I really like those situations,” he said.

The Eagles have supreme confidence in Elliott, but head coach Nick Sirianni still can’t bring himself to watch these huge kicks. He instead waits for special teams coordinator Michael Clay to deliver the news.

And with Elliott, is usually good news.

“Nobody I'd rather have in the NFL more than Jake Elliott,” Sirianni said. “Shoot, to me he's the best kicker in the NFL. He's so clutch.”

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