Special teams play can have a big impact a game. We saw this first hand last week against the Broncos and almost saw it lead to complete disaster. Macho Harris’ lost fumble was a big swing of momentum for the Broncos, one they almost used to pull a come from behind victory. However, the Eagles were able to prevail and that is now behind us. What isn’t behind us is the fact that this cannot happen again. When you look at this upcoming game against the Cowboys, you could easily see it being a very close game. It doesn’t have to be, but with so much on the line for both teams it definitely could be. In these type of games, one big play on special teams can be the deciding factor.
The Eagles were far from impressive on special teams last week. This isn’t something they’ve struggled a lot with this season, but there is reason to be concerned. We haven’t seen a kick returner consistently handle the duties all year, and now it looks like the guy we have back there may have ball security issues. Ball security on kickoff returns is not something a team should have to worry about going into Week 17 of the season. If Macho Harris makes a similar miscue this week in Dallas, it could be the play that loses the game for the Eagles. The Eagles cannot afford to make mistakes like that in a game of this magnitude.
However, the Eagles have seen some fairly nice success on punt returns with DeSean Jackson. He can make a play whenever the ball is in his hands and we’ve seen that. With punt returns, a single block can spring a huge return and with a guy like DeSean, it can end up being a touchdown.
If their is a big play on special teams in Sunday’s game, let’s hope it’s in the Eagles favor.
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