Why Eagles legend David Akers gave kicker Jake Elliott vote of confidence amid struggles

Adam Hermann
·2 min read

Why Eagles legend gave Jake Elliott a vote of confidence originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

NFL kickers are notoriously fickle, even Super Bowl-winning, 61-yard-bomb-sinking guys like Eagles kicker Jake Elliott. He was known in his first few seasons with the Birds as a player who could nail kicks from distance but struggled with intermediate distances. 

This year he's 6/6 on kicks from 30 to 49 yards, a definite improvement. But a rough four-game stretch - he made just 1 of 4 field goal attempts across four games heading into the bye week - had some fans wondering if Elliott's misses could become more serious.

One Eagles fan, though, isn't concerned: former Birds kicking legend David Akers. The greatest kicker in franchise history went to bat for Elliott on Instagram on Friday, when one fan asked Akers to help Elliott "get his head right".

Here's how Akers responded:

A short and sweet vote of confidence. I like it.

Truth be told, Eagles fans often overreact to blips in Elliott's performance. They were burned by guys like Alex Henery and Cody Parkey in the past, after being spoiled by Akers' consistency during his 12 years in Philly.

But Akers is probably confident in Elliott because he's been here. 

This four-game stretch marked the first time Elliott's four-year career with the Eagles that he missed at least one field goal in three straight games.

It happened to Akers four different times: in 2000, in 2003, in 2007, and in 2008. 

Misses happen, and they're magnified when Elliott is only attempting four field goals in a four-game span. He's on pace for the fewest field goal attempts of his career, just 24, which means every mistake feels much bigger.

Meanwhile Elliott hasn't missed an extra point this season, and his career field goal percentage (82%) is just a smidgen below where Akers' percentage stood after 12 years with the Birds (82.4%). He ranks second in Eagles history among kickers with at least 100 field goals attempted, behind only Akers.

It was a tough four-game span, but if Akers is confident in Elliott, I am too. Let's see what he's got over the second half of the season.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast:Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube