Eagles’ kicker Cody Parkey’s on his way to a Pro-Bowl season

December 11th, 2014 by Kyle Lutz | Filed under Eagles, Football, General.

(Yong Kim/Philly.com Staff Photographer)

It would be his first, and a well-deserved selection for Parkey, too.

The Eagles’ rookie kicker’s only 22 years old, and was an undrafted free-agent out of Auburn, one that was picked up by Indianapolis this past May. Parkey was signed by the Colts to be their kick-off kicker, since every-day kicker Adam Vinatieri, at age 41, accepted a more limited role with the team, due to his age. Parkey was described, coming out of Auburn, as a kicker with a big leg, and one that was considered as one of the top kickers in this past-year’s draft.

Three-months later, he was traded by Indianapolis to the Eagles for running back David Fluellen, who was also undrafted. Each team’s trash ended up being the opposite team’s treasure, after the trade went down. Oddly enough, both were released just prior to the trade, but it was approved, due to the releases not being official until 4 PM of that day.

Fast-forward a bit, Parkey’s made tremendous strides and has been fantastic thus far this year, making Eagles’ fans easily forget about the failed experiment that was Alex Henery, Parkey’s predecessor, who’s now a free-agent. Henery had signed with the Lions, following his release from the Eagles three-weeks prior, on September 22nd, replacing Detroit’s struggling kicker, Nate Freese.

Shortly after, however, after three field-goal misses in one game vs. Buffalo, Henery was cut again, following the Buffalo game two-weeks after his signing. He had gone just 1/5 in his two games with Detroit, and 0-2 from 40-49 yards. Despite his criticisms in Philadelphia, in three years, from 2011-13, with the team, he went 74/86 in field-goal attempts; an 86% efficiency. But he was mostly criticized for his weakness, in not being able to be consistently good on long field-goal attempts and kick-off returns, many of which weren’t touchbacks or deep kicks.

Back to Parkey, first off, to give you an idea of how great he was at Auburn, too, he went 15/21 (71.4%) on field-goals in his collegiate career, and impressively led all of college football in that time span in touchbacks, with 69. Despite his success, he was only 1/4 (25%) in 50+ field-goal attempts, although this year he’s improved dramatically in that category, going an incredible and perfect 4/4, including a 54-yard field-goal on October 26th at Arizona. His leg strength, and deep field goals, have been very impressive, surprisingly good, and vital to the team’s success thus far this year. Parkey’s also been extremely clutch, too, as shown by the numerous 50+ made field-goals this season.

Not only has Parkey’s leg, and long field-goal-attempt success been huge for Philadelphia, but his accuracy as well, just as much. He’s converted 22/23 field-goal attempts, dating back to September; the 21st, in a 37-34 win vs. Washington. Parkey’s 27/29 (93.1%) this year in field-goal attempts, and he’s perfect in point-after attempts, too, going 44/44.

Who could have foreseen this occurring, and consistently  from week to week? Not me, that’s for sure. This year, he ranks: (tied for) second best (with his former teammate, Adam Vinatieri) in kicker’s points scored (125, behind only New England’s Stephen Gostkowski, who has 131), fourth in field-goals made (27), third in extra-points made (44), and fifth in field-goal efficiency (93.103%).

Additionally, on kick-off kicks, he ranks: third in most kick-off yards (5,288), 12th in fewest kick-off-return yards (23.2), and sixth in most touchbacks (41).

He’s been a huge asset for the team, being a part of the team’s great special-teams unit, and fantastic on both field-goal attempts (both in yardage and conversion percentage) and kick-off returns. The team desperately was searching, and needed, a kicker of his caliber ever since long-time kicker David Akers departed three-years ago. Henery wasn’t bad, but in hindsight (after what Parkey’s done so far this season), hasn’t been anything close to what Akers and Parkey have been for the team, in the span of the past decade and a half, since Akers’ arrival in 1999.

Comparing Parkey to a couple other NFC kickers this season, to determine who should or shouldn’t be a Pro Bowler, Seattle’s Steven Hauschka’s been good. He’s currently nine-points behind Parkey in the leader board, and ranked one spot behind him, at number four. Hauschka’s been incredible in field-goal attempts, going 28/31 (90.3%). Green Bay’s Mason Crosby has been very good, too, going 23/26 (88.5%) on the year, with 115 points, 80% 50+ field-goal efficiency (4-5), and 5,414 kick-return yards- which leads the league. Surprisingly, Crosby’s yet to make a Pro-Bowl squad, since his debut in 2007, nor has Hauschka, since his debut in 2008.

So has Parkey passed/aced the test so far? Yes. And has he proved himself, so far, to be worthy of a spot on the NFC Pro-Bowl team in January? Yes. Well done, Cody, keep it up.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.