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Jake Elliott: Reality After Historic Kick

Posted Sep 27, 2017

He made the kick, did a bunch of interviews, was carried off the field … and then it all became surreal for Jake Elliott after his 61-yard field goal gave the Eagles a walk-off win over the Giants last Sunday. In some ways, it feels like it happened a long, long time ago. In others, it is still happening ...

He made the kick, did a bunch of interviews, was carried off the field ... and then it all became surreal for Jake Elliott after his 61-yard field goal gave the Eagles a walk-off win over the Giants last Sunday. In some ways, it feels like it happened a long, long time ago. In others, it is still happening.

Jake Elliott is now a household name in the households that care at all about the NFL. His story is great – superb college kicker, drafted by Cincinnati, didn’t win the job there, plucked off the Bengals’ practice squad by a kicker-hungry Eagles team, and two weeks later made the longest field goal in the history of the franchise to beat a divisional rival.

What a ride!

“I just tried to soak it in that night and enjoyed it,” Elliott said on Wednesday in the last wave (of many) interviews at his locker at the NovaCare Complex. “And then the next day, reality sets in a little bit. I tried to turn off everything that was happening. I turned off my phone. There was a lot going on and I didn’t get through social media because it was blowing up so much.

“It’s fun to look at for a while, but you’ve got to move on.”

Moving on for Elliott means getting back a job that is only three weeks old. He’s a rookie living in the moment, and the in the NFL you are only as good as your next kick.

But, wow, what a moment it’s been.

“We’re in the locker room,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said, talking about how he and Fletcher Cox and Darren Sproles watched the rest of the game at Lincoln Financial Field after getting injured. “It was an intense feeling. It’s never good being out of a game. I left the Cowboys game when I was a rookie and we won on Jordan’s (Matthews) touchdown in overtime. Then I get hurt and we’re down to the wire against the Giants.

“We went absolutely crazy when Jake made the kick. As nuts as it was out on the field, it was like that with the three of us in the locker room. If you didn’t know the name before, you certainly do now.”

Quarterback Carson Wentz wore a microphone during Sunday’s game and, as Elliott lined up for what would be a historic kick, said that he would give his game check to Elliott if he made it. Which, of course, he did. Which means that Wentz became part of a story and a legend that continues to grow.

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The two worked out something, they said on Wednesday. Wentz will donate a portion of his game check to a charity of Elliott’s choice. Wentz had fun with the whole thing. So did Elliott, who said the “coolest” moment was getting on the phone with Deion Sanders of the NFL Network and doing an interview, one of several national interviews Elliott had in the wake of the monster kick.

At the end of the day, it’s about what Elliott does moving forward. The kick was a boost in every way that Elliott hopes to keep using.

“Kinda use that to build some confidence and move forward and be as consistent as I can be,” Elliott said. “I hit the ball really well today so I feel I can build on that and get a rhythm moving forward.”

The kick changed Elliott’s life to the extent that he will always be “that guy who made the 61-yard field goal to beat the Giants on the last play of the game.” That’s only going to carry Elliott so far – off the field on the shoulders of his teammates, yes. Into the national spotlight, for sure. But what’s next is a big week of practice and a game at the Los Angeles Chargers in a small venue with fans on top of him Sunday.

“You’ve got to be consistent in the NFL,” Elliott said. “It’s a week-by-week challenge, and I’m just beginning. Honestly, I’m as past the kick on Sunday as I can be. I have to approach it that way. It was great and I was glad to help the team win, but I’m on to the next kick now.”

Elliott had The Field Goal Heard ‘Round the NFL to beat New York on Sunday, basked in the moment that night, and then his feet hit the ground on Monday. And here we are now, just a few days away from another game, another kick, another opportunity to stay employed in the league. That’s really what it comes down to: One-hit wonders don’t last long here. You have to bring it every day.

“Yeah, that’s the nature of the game,” he said. “No matter what level, my job is to execute my kicks. What I did last Sunday isn’t going to be a factor next Sunday. It’s going to be a whole new ballgame.”

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