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December 02, 2022

The Eagles' 2022 special teams gaffes, with gifs and stuff

Eagles NFL
120222MichaelClay Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles special teams coordinator Michael Clay.

The 2022 Philadelphia Eagles have been a joy to watch, as they have an explosive offense, an opportunistic defense, an MVP candidate for a quarterback, and they own the best record in the NFL in 10-1. Still, there's that one elephant in the room, the special teams, which have had numerous bad moments this season.

Let's review them:

Week 2: The Vikings blocked a Jake Elliott field goal

Patrick Peterson was able to get around the edge for a blocked field goal, and the Eagles were lucky that Arryn Siposs was able to chase down CB Kris Boyd on the return.

The Vikings couldn't capitalize, as Avonte Maddox picked off Kirk Cousins on the ensuing possession.

Week 3: Britain Covey muffed a punt

The Eagles were fortunate to get this back.


Covey paid the price there, too.

Week 5: Cardinals convert on a fake punt

Facing a 4th and 4 from their own 28 yard line, the Cardinals successfully ran a fake punt.

That would end up being a 16-play, 91-yard drive that ended with a field goal to close out the first half and narrow the Eagles' lead from 14-7 to 14-10. That robbed the offense of a chance for one last first half possession, and perhaps made this game closer than it should have been.

Week 6: KaVontae Turpin returns a kickoff 63 yards

The Eagles had completely dominated the Cowboys for the first 28 minutes of their Week 6 matchup, when KaVontae Turpin sparked Dallas with a 63-yard kick return.

That led to a field goal just before the end of the first half, and gave the Cowboys at least something to feel OK about heading into the third quarter.

Week 8: Steelers convert on a fake punt

The Steelers were down 18 on their first possession the second half, facing a 4th and 2 from their own 33, and they easily converted this fake punt, in what was probably a fairly obvious fake punt-potential situation: 


They would put together a 15-play, 64-yard FG drive.

Week 10: Reed Blankenship roughs the punter

Blankenship — and LB Kyron Johnson, for that matter as well — smashed Tress Way, giving the Commanders a new set of downs.


The Eagles ended up forcing a turnover on the next play.

Week 10: The Eagles leave a Commanders player unblocked on a punt

Here it is from the end zone view:


Siposs did a nice job getting the punt off, at all, but as always on these types of plays the Eagles were flagged for an illegal man downfield and had to re-punt.

As you can see, neither Nakobe Dean (17) nor K'Von Wallace (42) picked up Khaleke Hudson (47). Hudson didn't even look like he was in punt block mode, but when nobody blocked him he was like, "Oh... word? You're not blocking me? I guess I'll try to block the punt then."

On the second punt, there was 2:08 left on the clock. Had the Eagles punted it out of bounds they would have had a decent enough chance of the having the clock stop at, say, 2:01. And then the clock would have stopped at the two-minute warning after the Commanders' first play on their ensuing possession, which would have saved the Eagles a timeout at a point in the game in which they were desperate for more time. Instead, Siposs just booted it right down the middle of the field, and the clock wound down past the two minute warning.

Week 12: Packers return man goes off

And finally, last Sunday night, Packers kick returner Keisean Nixon had kick returns of 38, 52, and 53 yards. Note that these kicks are five yards deep into the end zone, but the Packers clearly felt that they could exploit the Eagles' return units, so they took them out.

The Packers scored 10 points after those returns.


The Eagles have been extremely fortunate that their poor special teams play has not yet cost them a game, but it does feel a little bit like a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. In my opinion, they should start playing better on special teams. 🧠

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