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A Mixed Bag For Special Teams

NASHVILLE --Showing again why it is important to have a short memory in this business, David Akers rebounded from the worst game of his NFL career to having one of his best. He blasted four field goals and had five touchbacks on kickoffs in the swirling winds at LP Field in Tennessee. But as good as Akers was, special teams still had a major mistake in Sunday's 37-19 loss to the Titans.

Akers missed three field goals a week earlier in the victory over Atlanta, was back in his groove, even with a strong wind that consistently blew down the field, and sometimes across the field.

He opened the scoring by kicking a routine 25-yard field goal to cap a 14-play, 45-yard drive early in the second quarter and then added boots of 46 yards -- in the wind, and at the end of the first half to give the Eagles a 13-7 lead -- and 46 yards with the wind in the third quarter, capping the team's opening drive of the half.

Then, early in the fourth quarter, Akers kicked a 28-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 19-10 win with 13 minutes, 26 seconds remaining. That drive started on Jorrick Calvin's 41-yard kickoff return following a Titans field goal and it helped turn the momentum back in the Eagles' favor, albeit briefly.

The touchbacks were especially important against a dangerous Tennessee kickoff return game. Marc Mariani already had one return this season for a touchdown, but he had zero chances to hurt the Eagles on Sunday. Mariani entered the game averaging 28 yards per kickoff return, eighth-best in the league.

Calvin, though, contributed a fumble to the team's losing peformance. Trailing 27-19, the Eagles needed a spark with no timeouts remaining and just under four minutes remaining. Calvin fumbled a punt and Tennessee recovered at the Philadelphia 33-yard line. Tennessee drove 18 yards in 7 plays and Rob Bironas kicked a 33-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining in the game to ice it for Tennessee.

-- Posted by Dave Spadaro, 6:06 p.m., October 24

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