Questionable playcalling again plagues Eagles
No one stops LeSean McCoy better than his coaching staff.
McCoy has developed into one of the NFL’s top running backs in
his third season with the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s second in yards
rushing (906), tied for first in touchdowns rushing (10) and is
first in TDs overall (12).
Most impressive is the fact he’s doing it on a team that loves
The struggling Eagles (3-6) might be playing for first place
when they visit the NFC East-leading New York Giants (6-3) on
Sunday if McCoy would’ve only touched the ball more, especially in
the fourth quarter.
In last Sunday’s 21-17 loss to Arizona, McCoy got two carries in
the final quarter. He got just two carries in the fourth quarter in
a 30-24 loss to Chicago the previous game.
The Eagles blew leads against both teams and have now lost five
games in which they led in the fourth quarter, including four at
McCoy, by the way, is averaging a league-best 7.1 yards per
carry in the last 15 minutes.
The decision not to give McCoy the ball against the Cardinals
was perplexing for several reasons. Star wide receiver DeSean
Jackson was deactivated for missing a meeting, leading receiver
Jeremy Maclin was injured and Michael Vick was off target.
Yet after a 29-yard run to the Cardinals 22 with the Eagles up
14-7 and 4:46 left in the third quarter, McCoy got the ball twice
the rest of the game.
”Certainly could’ve gotten it to him more,” offensive
coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday. ”They played a bunch
of one-on-ones. We had plenty of opportunities there. Not to sound
defensive, we had some possibilities there.”
Mornhinweg went on to say: ”There wasn’t quite as many
opportunities there in the fourth quarter.”
In actuality, there was.
Nursing that 7-point lead early in the fourth, the Eagles had a
first down at their 42 after a 14-yard scramble by Vick and an
Sounds like a perfect time to run the ball, work the clock and
protect a lead.
The next play was a 2-yard pass. Then two straight incomplete
passes and a punt. The Cardinals drove 89 yards for the tying
Philadelphia began the next drive at its 20. Three more passes
and a punt.
”We’re going to do what we think is best to win the game, and
that’s how we’re going to go about it,” coach Andy Reid said.
”That was just the choice we made.”
The Eagles have always had a pass-first offense under Reid. But
through Week 8, they had the league’s No. 1 rushing attack with an
average of 179.9 yards per game on the ground.
After a 1-4 start threatened to ruin a season that began with
Super Bowl aspirations, the Eagles won consecutive games over
Washington and Dallas. Not coincidentally, McCoy played a big
He had 126 yards rushing and one score on 28 carries in a 20-13
win over the Redskins on Oct. 16. He followed that up with 185
yards rushing and two TDs on 30 carries in a dominating 34-7 win
against Dallas on Oct. 30.
It seemed Philadelphia had turned things around. The Eagles were
3-4 and in the mix in a jumbled NFC East.
Now they’re all-but-mathematically out of contention.
McCoy had 16 carries for 71 yards against the Bears and 14
carries for 81 yards against the Cardinals. He’s scored a touchdown
in every game this season, which is the longest streak in team
In Philadelphia’s three wins, McCoy has averaged 144.3 yards
rushing on 24.3 carries. In the six losses, he’s averaged 78.8
yards rushing on only 15.3 carries.
Despite his success, McCoy won’t complain about not getting the
”I am never going to judge the calls,” he said.
Maybe he should.