Leading up to the Philadelphia Eagles match-up with the Kansas City Chiefs in Arizona, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will compare the personnel of the two teams each day until gameday is here.
In this edition of our week-long comparison, we will look at the key special teams players that the Eagles and Chiefs will field for the big game.
Philadelphia ST | Jake Elliott, Brett Kern, Boston Scott, Britain Covey, Rick Lovato
Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott went 20-for-23 in field goal attempts during the regular season with a long of 56-yards. Elliott also nailed 51-of-53 PAT’s for the Birds’ in 2022-23. The highlight of the season came in the Week 18 finale against the Giants where Elliott buried five field goals to put the Birds in the win column.
Elliott has been perfect during the Eagles run to Arizona. He’s 9-for-9 on PAT’s and 2-for-2 in the field goal department
The Eagles look to be getting a boost in the punting game heading into Super Bowl LVII. The team opened the 21-day return window on injured punter Arryn Siposs earlier this week signifying his likely return to the lineup. Siposs will replace punter Brett Kern who has been anything but spectacular.
Before being injured against the New York Giants, Siposs was averaging over 45.6 yards per punt this season. Nearly 40% of Siposs’s punts found their way inside the opponents 20-yard line.
The Eagles return game has been anything but spectacular. Boston Scott is averaging 27.1 yards per return on kickoffs and Britain Covey is averaging 9.3 yards per punt return. Neither player has reached the end zone in the return game. Any punt return where Covey doesn’t get obliterated is a small victory for the Eagles.
Kansas City ST | Harrison Butker, Tommy Townsend, Isiah Pacheco, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore
Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker had a mediocre season for the Chiefs. The 6-year veteran was injured in KC’s season opener at State Farm Stadium against the Arizona Cardinals. The injury kept him out the first few weeks of the season. Upon returning, Butker went 18-for-24 in field goals, a 75% mark. Despite a long of 62-yards, Butker is a lowly 7-for-12 from 40+ yards.
Chiefs’ punter Tommy Townsend had a very good regular season. He averaged 45.6 yards per punt and 41.51% inside the 20-yard line percentage. Townsend’s YPP has dropped to 40.8 during the playoffs, however his inside the 20-yard line rate has jumped to 62.5%. He is only allowing around 8-yards per return.
Kansas City’s return game is led by Vineland, NJ native Isiah Pacheco, Kadarius Toney, and Skyy Moore. Like the Eagles, the Chiefs did not reach the end zone via the return game during the 2022-23 season. Kansas City averaged 19.2 yards per kick return, Pacheco had the teams’ longest of 48-yards. The Chiefs only averaged 6.7 yards per punt return with a long of 22-yards.
That’s nothing spectacular.
The Eagles get the slight edge in the special teams game because of the consistency of kicker Jake Elliott. He is 6-for-8 from 40+ with a long of 56-yards. IF Super Bowl LVII gets down to the end of the game and a kicker is going to win it, the Eagles have to feel better about Elliott than the Chiefs do about Butker.