Late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, it appeared that the Eagles’ huge lead was about to slip away. Washington had scored two touchdowns and two two-point conversions to close a once 24-0 gap to 24-16, and now the Eagles’ offense had been held to a three-and-out and would have to punt with 3:26 remaining.
Fortunately, Philadelphia punter Donnie Jones saved the best kick of his career for the perfect time: Jones unleashed a huge 70-yard punt that rolled out of bounds at the 4-yard line, pinning Washington deep in its own territory for its final offensive drive, a drive that would end with a game-sealing interception.
As a result, Jones has been chosen as this week’s NFC special teams player of the week.
And that 70-yard punt wasn’t all Jones did. He also boomed a 54-yard punt that was downed at the 2-yard line, a 43-yard punt that went out of bounds at the 17-yard line, a 49-yard punt that was returned for no yardage, a 45-yard punt that wasn’t returned and a 41-yard punt that was fair caught at the 15-yard line.
Jones’s 50.7-yard net average is the highest in Eagles history for any game with at least four punts, and he’s just the sixth punter since 1976 (when the NFL started keeping stats on punts inside the 20) to have a net average of better than 50 yards and land at least four punts inside the 20.
That 70-yard punt was the longest by an Eagle since Randall Cunningham booted an 80-yard punt in 1994.