Donnie Jones named Special Teams Player of Week

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Donnie Jones named Special Teams Player of Week
November 20, 2013, 11:45 am
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Donnie Jones' 70-yard punt late in the fourth quarter of a one-score game placed the Redskins at their own 4-yard line. (USA Today Images)

Three days after he turned in the greatest performance ever by an Eagles punter, Donnie Jones was honored Wednesday as NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Jones, in his 11th game as an Eagle, averaged a franchise-record 50.7 yards per punt in the Eagles’ 24-16 win over the Redskins at the Linc.

His career-long 70-yard punt with 3:37 left in a one-possession game pinned the Redskins at their own 4-yard line. It was the longest punt by an Eagle in 19 years, since Randall Cunningham’s 80-yarder against the Cowboys in 1994.

Jones’ 50.7 net average broke the franchise record of 49.0 yards per punt set in 2001 by Sean Landeta against the Seahawks in a game played at Husky Stadium.

Jones’ six punts went 54, 43, 49, 45, 41 and 70 yards and none of them were returned.

Landeta is the only other Eagles punter ever named Player of the Week. He received the award twice in 2001, for that record-setting performance against the Seahawks and also for a game that December against the Chargers.

Other previous Eagles who’ve been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week: kicker Gary Anderson (Saints, 1995), kick returner Derrick Witherspoon (Falcons, 1996), punt returner Allen Rossum (Redskins, 1999), Brian Mitchell (Saints, 2000; Cards, 2001; 49ers, 2002), David Akers (Cards and Steelers, 2000; Cowboys, 2001; Bills and Panthers, 2003; Bears, 2004; Packers, 2005), Brian Westbrook (Giants, 2003), Jevon Kearse (Giants, 2004) and DeSean Jackson (Panthers and Giants, 2009).

Jones has a 40.9 net punting average this year, which puts him on pace to break the Eagles’ single-season record of 39.0, set in 2010 by Sav Rocca, who’s now with the Redskins.

Jones ranks sixth in NFL history in gross punting average at 45.5 and fifth in net average at 39.2.

Although Jones’ 50.7 net average Sunday set a franchise record, it’s not his best ever. Jones had a net average of 50.8 yards on four punts for the Rams in a game against the Saints in New Orleans in 2010.

Jones is the fourth Eagle honored by the NFL this year. Jackson was named Offensive Player of the Week after the first Giants game, and Nick Foles received the honor after both the Buccaneers and Raiders games.

The Eagles’ last Defensive Player of the Week recipient was Kurt Coleman after the first Redskins game in 2011.

Jones is the Eagles’ fourth punter in the last four years, following Rocca, Chas Henry (2011, 2012) and Mat McBriar (2012).

McBriar (46.6), Jones (45.4) and Henry (44.0) have the three highest punting averages in Eagles history, not including Cunningham, who averaged 51.7 average on 12 punts as an Eagle.