Eagles' LeSean McCoy Stands Up To Heavy Workload
By Frank Irving
Predictions that LeSean McCoy would flourish under Chip Kelly's orchestration of the Philadelphia Eagles' offense have been spot-on during the 2013 season to date. The fifth-year back leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage, ranks second in rushing yards behind only Adrian Peterson, and grades out among the top five ball-carriers in yards per attempt.
He's been on the field for 79 percent of his team's offensive snaps, and trails just three players — Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte — in touches.
Kelly put it in perspective after the Eagles edged the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13: "He's been fantastic all year long. He's worked extremely hard with everything we've asked him to do from OTAs to the offseason and every day in practice. What we're seeing on the field is just really the time he's invested in himself. I'm real happy for him."
In games in which McCoy has rushed at least 19 times, the Eagles are 6-1. The following statistics reveal additional patterns in McCoy's game that Philadelphia's remaining opponents must try to stop:
- - He averages 5.7 yards per attempt — a full yard above his season average — on rushes to the right side.
- - He averages 5.4 yards per attempt on second-down carries.
- - He has scored all five of his rushing touchdowns on first or second down.
- - He has been "money" on third or fourth down with two yards or less to go, averaging 3.6 yards per attempt.
- - The Eagles love to go to him in the middle of the field, with 73 percent of his rushing yards and 80 percent of his passing yards coming between Philadelphia's own 21-yard-line and opponents' 20-yard-line.
- - Nearly all of his rushing attempts and pass receptions have come on plays initiated with no offensive motion.
And even though McCoy has been less productive with Nick Foles than Michael Vick as starting quarterback (4.2 versus 5.4 yards per carry), the running back still sees a silver lining. "If my numbers are down with Nick, it's because they'd rather take me out and deal with Nick running," he told Philly.com. "I would do that if I was a defensive coordinator. But the thing is, when you do that, there's so many other things that we can pull out of our arsenal. That's why we've been winning."