In his second year with the Eagles, LeSean McCoy has made a major leap.
But he is not one of the three NFC running backs on the Pro Bowl roster.
The Falcons' Michael Turner, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson of the Rams made it ahead of him. McCoy is an alternate. But the question is: Did he get snubbed?
Here's a look at how the numbers stack up:
|Att.||Rush Yds.||YPC||Rec. Yds.||Total Yds.||20+ runs||TDs|
McCoy ranks fifth in the NFC in rushing yards, behind the three running backs above and the Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw. However, it's easy to see one major reason why. Turner has had 110 more carries than him; Peterson 62 more; and Jackson 112 more.
McCoy has a higher yards per carry and more total yards than the three running backs that made the roster. Only Brandon Jacobs (5.8) and Chris Ivory (5.3) are averaging more yards per carry among NFC running backs.
Looking at the numbers, ranking Turner and Peterson ahead of McCoy is reasonable. But it's tough to find a single category where Jackson has him beat.
McCoy's averaging 1.6 more yards per carry than Jackson. He's been better in the receiving game and has more total yards. They are equal in big runs (of 20+ yards), and McCoy has more touchdowns. The difference? Jackson is 27 and in his seventh NFL season. McCoy is 22 and in his second NFL season. It might not be fair, but that's how it works. Jackson has the reputation.
One more note on McCoy. Many have made the point that the Eagles should have given him more touches against the Vikings. Minnesota was throwing blitz after blitz at Michael Vick, and Vick was dealing with an injury he suffered on the game's first play.
Asked at Thursday's press conference whether he second-guessed himself about not running it more, here was Marty Mornhinweg's answer:
"Yeah, sure, but I think in the first half it was 2.9 [yards] per carry. It just didn’t feel like we were running the football. They’re very good. They’re a pretty good defense now. Getting back to your original question, it just felt like we didn’t run it. We weren’t running it very well early. Sure, you always go back and critique exactly what you did."
I'm not sure who's giving Mornhinweg his stats, but he/she needs to do a better job. It's true that McCoy averaged under 2.9 yards per carry in the first half (23 yards on eight carries), but one of those carries was a 7-yard loss on a broken play.
Take that one run away, and the numbers were 30 yards on seven carries - a much more respectable 4.29 YPC. On three of eight carries, McCoy picked up 10 yards or more.
Overall, the Eagles didn't use McCoy less than normal though. On the season, he's averaging 13.8 carries and 5.2 catches per game - a total of 19 touches. On Tuesday night, he had 13 catches and four catches for a total of 17 touches.
For McCoy, the big negative against the Vikings was blitz pickup. He got overpowered by Minnesota linebackers on multiple occasions. The Eagles will need him to come up big as a blocker in the playoffs so Vick can have time to find his playmakers downfield against the blitz.
Oh, and by the way, Happy New Year to all the MTC readers out there. Wishing everyone has a happy and healthy 2011.