McCoy back on track - now gets best run defense
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Just when Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy gets his game back on track, here comes the NFL's best run defense.
McCoy, coming off his finest game of the season a 149-yard effort in a 27-0 win over the New York Giants, faces an Arizona Cardinals' defense that has allowed an average of just 72 yards rushing per game when the Eagles visit Arizona on Sunday.
''I'm sure they're going to try to take the run away,'' McCoy said. ''What's so impressive about that defense is the way they utilize players. They have some guys out, and other guys just step up and play. They're fast. They're physical. They're a good defense.''
McCoy, last year's league leading rusher with 1,607 yards, managed a total of 39 yards on 29 carries in consecutive games against San Francisco and Washington.
He came back with an 81-yard game against the St. Louis Rams before his breakout game two weeks ago against the Giants. The Eagles had a bye last week.
Against the Giants, the Eagles lined up with quarterback Nick Foles under center more often than he had in the first five games, when he was primarily in the shotgun. McCoy thinks that helped him and the running game.
''That really helped out,'' he said. ''When we're under center, you can see better, see the lanes better, see the cuts better. The pressure, you can adjust to it.''
Arizona has not allowed a running back gain more than 64 yards in any game this season and the most any team has gained against the Cardinals is 92, by Denver in Arizona's only loss on the year.
''They blitz a lot (to stop the run),'' McCoy said. ''They send guys that you don't think are coming. I'm anxious to see how they play us in an up-tempo offense.''
Eagles coach Chip Kelly said the Cards' have a unique scheme.
''They run a lot of different looks on the defensive side of the ball, so they can confuse you a little bit,'' Kelly said. ''But they've also got some really, really good football players on the defensive side of the ball.''
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will scheme with Kelly on how to attack the Cardinals.
''They're very good on the edges,'' Shurmur said.
NOTES: The Eagles have lost their last three games in Arizona, including the 2008 NFC Championship Game. They are 2-7 in their last nine games there; and 3-9 in their last 12. . Kelly would not commit to who was playing or who wasn't playing Sunday, but running back Darren Sproles (knee) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (calf) were on the field for the third straight day.