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After a slight drop off, the Eagles need to improve their special teams this season

17 July 2018 Eagles News


The Eagles’ are about to kick off training camp, which means football is back. Heading into the season, the Eagles are hungry to repeat. With a team that is ready to rock and returning majority of their Super Bowl winning team, what will be their biggest weakness? Luckily for the Eagles, their strengths outweigh their weakness, but the Eagles need to be worry of their special teams. 

It’s hard to point to one weakness, but with that being said, the one group the suffered last season on the Eagles is their special teams. The Eagles special teams dropped off this past season after having a lot of prior success. Back at the NFL combine, head coach Doug Pederson singled out this group, when asked what the Eagles need to improve. 

“We can get better there,” the coach admitted in Indianapolis, “and it’s not about scheme, anything like that –- just getting better. We had a lot of young guys play, and it’s going to help us this year having those young guys back, the Mack Hollinses the Shelton Gibsons, guys like that who are going to go into Year 2. They will get better.” 

Ranking 16th in the league after this year, they will be looking to improve this season. 

TEAM S.T.

DVOA

LAST

YEAR

WEIGHTED FG/XP KICK KICK

RET

PUNT PUNT

RET

HIDDEN WEATHER NON-ADJ

VOA

DVOA RANK PTS RANK PTS RANK
1 BAL 9.2% 4 12.6% 1 19.0 6.6 12.3 4.1 3.9 -7.0 24 -7.6 32 7.7%
2 LARM 6.8% 3 8.5% 2 11.3 -0.3 9.2 10.3 3.7 40.6 1 2.9 10 7.4%
3 NE 6.3% 8 8.5% 3 8.9 8.4 6.4 8.2 -0.6 13.1 3 -1.2 19 6.0%
4 KC 5.3% 1 6.0% 5 11.8 7.1 0.0 6.2 1.7 5.0 8 -4.5 28 4.5%
5 DET 5.1% 6 4.3% 9 7.3 5.8 -4.0 -1.5 17.9 6.4 6 4.3 4 6.0%
6 CAR 4.7% 25 6.2% 4 6.3 2.2 5.3 7.8 1.9 -0.2 13 2.9 12 5.3%
7 DAL 4.6% 9 4.5% 8 -7.0 4.5 2.3 16.9 6.2 14.8 2 3.5 7 5.3%
8 IND 3.7% 5 4.8% 7 0.4 1.6 -1.2 20.2 -2.6 5.0 9 2.1 15 4.1%
9 PIT 3.1% 16 6.0% 6 8.4 5.2 1.3 3.3 -2.9 -8.0 28 -5.2 30 2.0%
10 BUF 2.9% 22 2.7% 12 11.5 2.0 -4.9 4.3 1.8 -9.0 29 -5.6 31 1.8%
11 SF 2.9% 17 2.2% 13 14.2 3.0 -6.4 3.6 0.0 4.9 10 2.0 16 3.3%
12 MIA 2.6% 12 4.1% 10 3.4 5.3 -1.5 6.6 -0.6 6.4 5 -0.8 18 2.5%
13 TEN 1.6% 19 1.0% 15 0.6 2.9 0.8 3.0 0.7 -5.8 22 1.7 17 2.0%
14 GB 1.3% 21 2.0% 14 -2.8 0.1 0.2 5.1 4.0 -12.0 30 -2.1 21 0.9%
15 NO 1.2% 27 3.0% 11 -0.9 -0.3 5.6 6.5 -5.0 10.3 4 6.8 2 2.5%
16 PHI 0.9% 2 -1.6% 18 3.9 -0.8 0.6 3.4 -2.5 0.8 12 -3.5 24 0.2%

There’s a new rule change in the NFL which is going to be a major change in the league. How will teams adjust, we will wait and see. Below is a video that explains the new rule. 

With this new rule, it kind of nullifies the kickoff. But with that being said, there’s going to be a transition period which allows teams to take advantage of the new rule. With a coach of Dave Fipp’s ability, he’ll find a way to do so. Look forward to the Eagles preseason games to see this funky rule and how the Eagles react to it. 

Other than kick returning, the Eagles just got a big boost learning running back Darren Sproles will be returning. If he’s up for it, he’ll likely be the Eagles punt returner, which bolds in their favor. It would be a big boost for a team that struggled last season returning punts. And, on their side, there will be a new punter in Cam Johnston. Donnie Jones has been a rock at that position for years, however, Johnston has looked great this past spring and will make sure that the Eagles don’t fall off in that department. 

The one known coming into this season is kicker Jake Elliott will be one of the best in the league. After making waves as a rookie, Elliott capped off his rookie season with a great showing in the Super Bowl. Coming into this season, Elliott is already one of the best kickers in the league. 

So, we know special teams is a place the Eagles need to improve, however, with a new rule and a few guys returning, the Eagles have everything they need to bounce back this season. Their players are older, have Super Bowl winning experience and are hungry to repeat. Going into this season, the Eagles weakest unit might be their special teams, but that unit is expected to make a major comeback in 2018.

 

Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


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