EAGLES NOTEBOOK: Jake Elliott was Ready to try 64-yard FG

Ed Kracz

Jake Elliott was on the brink of becoming just the second player in NFL history to make a field goal from 64 yards away.

That is until Eagles coach Doug Pederson sent in the punt team and rang up the white flag with 19 seconds left against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, surrendering a chance to try to win a game and settling for a 23-23 tie.

All the Eagles kicker would have had to do was make it. Asked if he could have on Tuesday afternoon, Elliott wouldn’t say yes or no, predictably.

“Looking at it from a kicker’s perspective, I’m going to be confident going into every kick,” he said. “I want to kick every kick obviously. I know that’s not extremely realistic. I think in that circumstance in the game, I would’ve loved to try it, but I understand the timing of it. There’s time on the clock, a lot of risk-reward there. So, like I said confident in myself, but understand the situation.”

Elliott, who made all three FGs on Sunday, co erring 27, 42, and 53 yards, said the longest kick he attempted during pregame warmups was 60 yards. He said he made it, but barely.

“I’ll say I think we had a line discussed around the 40-yard line during the game,” said Elliott, who is 6-for-7 on his field-goal tries so far this year.

“That was kind of the end of that. I couldn’t give you an exact probability (of making a kick from 64 yards). I think if I really got a hold of one, we could’ve gotten it there.”

There’s no way of knowing now. Nor is there any way of knowing if Elliott would have made a 59-yard field goal, which he was all lined up to try until Matt Pryor was flagged for a false start.

“I didn’t even really see who it was (that moved) at the time, really what happened,” he said. “I saw there was a flag on the field. Obviously disappointed we didn’t get to try it, but in that moment, that was the end of it.”

DJACK: PUNT RETURNER?

DeSean Jackson was the punt returner on a Bengals punt early in the second quarter. He made a fair catch.

“Truth be told, we wanted to try to set up a return for him,” said special team coordinator Dave Fipp on Tuesday afternoon. “They ended up checking and they put a wing on the ball, and they put the gunner off the ball and they were going to motion that gunner down, and our plan was too early in the game (to) show that we were going to show a heavy box when they gave that look to try to help discourage some fakes and potential opportunities, not only for this opponent but also down the road.

“And so that took us out of the double teams on the outside, so unfortunately, we weren't able to get him started right there.”

There may have come another time during the game that Jackson would have been bac to field a punt or two, but the receiver didn’t make it through the half because he got hurt again, suffering a hamstring injury that has him day-to-day.

Fipp didn’t rule out putting Jackson back there again in a future game, that is, if Jackson can get and stay healthy.

“We're excited about getting him back there,” said Fipp. “We'll see if it continues. We did not put him in later in the game because he had gone out, but our plan was to use him a little bit and try to get him involved. Obviously, we know he's an explosive player back there, so we'll see how that goes going forward.”

HUNTING TURNOVERS

The Eagles are one of just three teams without an interception in the first three games of the season. The Cardinals and Texans are the other two.

The Eagles haven’t forced any turnovers at all from their first three opponents, without any fumble recoveries to go along with no picks. The only turnover the Eagles have forced this year came on special teams.

Meanwhile, the Eagles offense has been generous, coughing up eight of them – six Wentz interceptions, one Wentz lost fumble, and one Miles Sanders lost fumble.

So, you would think that hunting turnovers would be something a defensive coordinator would want from his defense, right?

Nope, not Jim Schwartz.

“Well I would say this, if you're hunting for turnovers, you're going to put yourself in bad position and we have seen that for probably 100 years in the NFL,” said the Eagles DC on Tuesday morning. “If you're going outside the scheme or you're just playing risky out there just to try to make a turnover, a lot of bad things can happen to you. Our philosophy is always make the plays that come to you.

“I got to take my hat off to (Bengals QB) Joe Burrow. We hit him hard and hit him a lot and he was very secure with that football. We probably only had really one opportunity. He floated one in overtime that we had a chance to maybe get that turnover, but he was very careful with the ball, took a lot of hits … if you're playing physical football, if you're playing responsibility, if you're doing your job, and you're around the quarterback a lot, I think the turnovers will come and they always have for us if we keep our eye on those things.”

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