Out of all the questions that have been brought up throughout the NFL season about the Philadelphia Eagles, one is becoming extremely difficult to ignore. Why do the Eagles continue not to run the ball when it’s working? Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy with the effectiveness of the passing game and how well Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles has been playing. But the Birds have a top three running back on their squad. Regardless of how hot Foles has played, they need to continue to feed the beast who has been there the past few seasons: give Eagles’ running back LeSean McCoy the ball.
Over the course of fifteen weeks, McCoy has still somehow managed to sit atop the league in rushing yards. This surprises me not because of Shady’s skill set, but because of how deprived he’s been some weeks of seeing the football. What’s even more shocking is that each break out game he’s had has been followed by a decrease in rushing attempts. For example, in Week One against the Washington Redskins, McCoy ran for 184 yards on 31 attempts. However in Week Two against the San Diego Chargers, he was limited to 11 attempts and only ran for 53 yards as a result.
Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week 6, Shady received 25 touches and ran 118 yards. The next three weeks combined, he picked up 147 yards on only 45 carries. If the argument were then made that he’s also being used in the screen game, I would be content. However, seeing as he’s only had 4 games in which he broke 50 yards receiving, the issue still remains.
My confusion finally boiled over in this week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Following McCoy’s superstar performance last week against the Detroit Lions, I was expecting big things this game. This Sunday against the Vikings, the leading rushing in the NFL was given eight carries, picking up a measly thirty eight yards. I thought to myself that this must be some kind of sick joke, as I sat speechless waiting for Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly to call a play for McCoy. Yet as I tried to make sense of it all, there was no light at the end of the tunnel as the Eagles’ lost 48-30.
Changes need to be made with McCoy being much more involved going forward. For crying out loud give him a screen in the back field or something and let one of the most elusive runners in the game do his thing. Let him make people miss and find a way to gain positive yardage. There’s no reason Foles should be throwing forty eight times in a game when he has McCoy in his backfield; there’s just no need.
At any rate, hopefully the Eagles can bounce back from this mediocre performance and clinch a playoff spot Sunday night against the Chicago Bears.
Prediction: Birds bounce back, 42-30 victory at Lincoln Financial. New Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins lights up the Dallas Cowboys for four touchdowns and helps the Eagles clinch a playoff berth.