Nobody was happier to see Jake Elliott’s game-tying 59-yard field goal at the end of regulation in Philadelphia on Sunday than his Eagles teammate Jason Kelce.
Trailing the visiting Buffalo Bills 31-28, Elliott helped push the game into overtime with the long-range kick before Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts sealed the victory in the extra frame with a 12-yard touchdown run.
But Elliott’s kick wouldn’t have been nearly so difficult were it not for a pair of false start penalties against Kelce — a normally reliable veteran who ranks among the best centers in football after being named to five Pro Bowls
think we all feel pretty confident even though it’s a hard kick,’ Kelce said. ‘Jake’s been as good as anybody, especially down the stretch with some meaning behind it since he’s been here. Jake the Make, whatever you want to call him. He’s been huge for us and I think everybody, even though it’s a tough kick, was pretty confident in his ability to go out there and get it done for us.’
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni seconded that sentiment following the 37-34 overtime win.
‘Nobody I’d rather have in the NFL more than Jake Elliott,’ Sirianni said. ‘Shoot, to me he’s the best kicker in the NFL. He’s so clutch.’
While Kelce was spared any regrets following Elliott’s kick, the Bills were left wondering how they could have let the win slip out of their fingers on Sunday.
Josh Allen took a knee instead of taking a shot at the end zone to close the fourth quarter. He threw a pick that led to a go-ahead score by the Eagles. The mistakes piled up for Buffalo – 10 penalties in the first half, two missed field goals, a dropped pass in the end zone.
Buffalo’s path to the postseason is as gloomy as the Philly weather the teams scuffled in.
Allen was sensational in spurts with two passing touchdowns and two rushing scores, yet the end result was a 37-34 overtime loss to the Eagles on Sunday.
Was it the end of Buffalo’s playoff hopes?
The three-time defending AFC East champion Bills (6-6) have a week off to regroup from a demoralizing defeat but games ahead against Kansas City and Dallas only complicate their path to the playoffs.
Buffalo has dropped four of six to get into this predicament – 2 1/2 games behind division-leading Miami and trailing several teams in the wild-card race.
‘I’m extremely confident in our guys, the men that we have in our locker room,’ Allen said.