What asset does the Philadelphia Eagles possess that is lacking in the offense of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and the Washington Redskins? Answer; an effective and consistent running game.
LeSean McCoy was the 53rd pick overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. The 5-11, 208 pound, running back from Pittsburgh, played only two seasons for the Panthers. In 2007, as a freshman, he rushed for 1,328 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also caught 33 passes for 244 yards and 1 TD.
He followed that performance as a sophomore in 2008 with 1,488 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns, 32 receptions for 305 yards, but no TD’s.
In his rookie year in the NFL, (2009), he replaced Brian Westbrook after two injuries and performed at a high level, breaking Correll Buckhalter’s rookie rushing record. A sportswriter, Ralph Vacchiano wrote: “The fact that the Eagles are rolling without Brian Westbrook is, in part, a testament to how good this rookie is.”
McCoy suffered through multiple changes in coaching and quarterbacks. He improved every season until 2012. In mid-November, he suffered a concussion. He did not return until the 3rd week in December. He ended the season with 840 rushing yards. It was the first time since 2009 that he failed to rush for less than 1,000 yards.
In his 5th season, 2013, he stayed healthy for all 16 games. His stats were more than good; they were terrific. He rushed for 1,607 yards, averaging 5.1 YPC, and nine touchdowns. In addition, as a receiver, he caught 52 passes for 539 yards and 2 TD’s. He fumbled only once. He was the NFL rushing champion. He was also the ‘all-purpose yards leader’ with 2,146.
In the entire NFL, only two running backs have the ability to change games; LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson. The only difference is that Philadelphia has a balanced attack on offense, and defense which can stop their opponents.
McCoy is a central figure defining why the Eagles will win the NFC East and go deep into the playoffs in 2014.
James Turnage for the Penalty Flag