Alex Henery finally getting back on track

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Alex Henery finally getting back on track

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October 8, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Alex Henery made five field goals Sunday, one shy of an Eagles' record. (AP)

Alex Henery said goodbye to one streak and hello to another.

The Eagles’ third-year kicker snapped his skid of three straight games with a miss by nailing all five of his attempts in Sunday’s 36-21 win over the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Not that anyone would expect the previously struggling Henery to miss all five kicks, but those 15 points ended up being the margin of victory. It was the first time in Henery’s three-year career that he made five kicks in one game.

“Even though I had those three misses beforehand I told [reporters] before my confidence was still there, and I thought I was hitting the ball great [Sunday], on both field goals and kickoffs,” he said. “So I was happy with where it was. Like I told you before, through the highs and lows I try to stay even-keeled, so now it’s onto the next week.”

Henery kicked from a variety of distances against the Giants, nailing first-half attempts of 40, 27, 29 and 36 yards. He added a 41-yarder in the second half.

Not since David Akers against Dallas almost 12 years ago, on Nov. 18, 2001, had an Eagles kicker made five field goals in one game. The last kicker to make five against the Giants was Billy Cundiff, when he went 5 for 5 for the Cowboys on Sept. 15, 2003.

One more make for Henery against the Giants would have tied him for the team record, set by Tom Dempsey on Nov. 12, 1972.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Alex,” head coach Chip Kelly said after the game. “I think he connected on all five, if I’m doing the math right. I think myself and him are probably the most surprised with those three misses that we had this year.

“We looked at him, and stayed with him, and him and [special teams] coach [Dave] Fipp went back to work a little bit. I’m really confident. Obviously we don’t want to get threes, we’d rather get sevens, but if you have a guy who is consistent like that and you can go 5 for 5, putting those points on the board is really the difference in ball games.”

Henery is connecting on 80 percent of his kicks this season, which is below his career average 86.3. He’s made all eight of his attempts between 20-39 yards, with all three misses coming in the 40-to-49 yard range.

Last week, Henery said a small timing issue was responsible for his misses in three straight games from distances of 46, 46 and 48. He said the issue had been corrected in practice.

“It seemed to work [Sunday],” he said. “Just one of those things now, keep having good practices, keep having more good days than bad days.”

Although he’s made two 48-yarders this year, Henery hasn’t been tested from the 50-yard neighborhood, the range that separates good kickers from elite ones. He hasn’t made a kick from 50 yards or beyond since his rookie season in 2011 and has attempted only one kick from that range since the start of last season, a 58-yarder that he missed last year against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium to snap a streak of 22 consecutive makes.

The Eagles are going back to Raymond James Stadium on Sunday for another showdown with the Bucs.

“It’s one of those things -- they come when they come,” Henery said of the long-distance kicks. “You don’t have any control over it. And when they come, you take care of it.”

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