RB, WR, TE Review: McCoy’s Got Nowhere To Go

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy.Here’s a player-by-player review of how the Eagles’ running backs, wide receivers and tight ends performed Sunday against the Lions.

LeSean McCoy – When we talk about the struggles of the offensive line, often times the focus is on pass protection. But it appears we’re now seeing how missing Jason Peters and Jason Kelce (and replacing them with Demetress Bell and Dallas Reynolds) is affecting McCoy and a once-potent run game. On Sunday, McCoy carried 14 times for 22 yards, averaging just 1.6 yards per attempt. For his career, in games in which he’s had at least 10 attempts, this was McCoy’s second-lowest average, behind just the Dolphins game from 2011. The running back simply had nowhere to go Sunday as Lions defenders lived in the backfield and dominated the Eagles’ offensive line. In the past two games, McCoy has 75 yards on 30 carries (2.5 YPC). His longest run in that span has gone for 11 yards. The big plays haven’t been there. Last year, McCoy averaged one run of 20+ yards every 19.5 attempts. This year, it’s one every 27.8 attempts. He’s battling every snap, but getting very little help. That’s ‘a huge concern for this offense going forward. As for Sunday’s performance specifically, McCoy was used a lot in the passing game with seven catches, but he totaled just 26 yards. He had the 2-yard touchdown and took a screen 17 yards in the second. Other than that, though, not a lot of success as a receiver. The truth is McCoy is good enough to be effective some weeks even if the blocking isn’t there. But you get the sense there are more games like Sunday’s coming down the road.

Bryce Brown – Brown played 16 snaps, but didn’t fare any better than McCoy, rushing five times for 4 yards. He had a nice 5-yard run in the red zone in the third. And on one play, he broke a tackle, but did not look particularly quick bouncing to the outside for 1 yard. On the season, 19 carries for 51 yards (2.7 YPC).

Stanley Havili – Up and down. Nice lead block on Brown’s 5-yard run in the third. Poor job on McCoy’s 1-yard screen in the fourth. Overall, Havili played 24 snaps. He did not have any touches.

DeSean Jackson – Another solid game. Jackson had five catches for 74 yards, and those numbers could have been even better, but Michael Vick missed him on the deep post that resulted in an interception. The Eagles tried a toss to him on the first series that resulted in a disastrous 14-yard loss. The play relied on Cliff Avril biting on the fake to McCoy. He didn’t, and Jackson was stopped in the backfield. Jackson made a nice 9-yard grab in the second. He picked up some YAC and showed good hands on a slant that picked up 16 yards in the third. And he made a nice catch for a 30-yard gain down the sideline. Jackson’s putting together an outstanding year. He’s on pace for 77 catches and 1,240 yards – both of which would be career highs. And he’s yet to drop a pass.

Jeremy Maclin – Easily his best game of the year. Maclin finished with six catches for 130 yards. He also drew drew two pass interference penalties for 32 yards. The big play was the 70-yard touchdown in the fourth. Maclin picked up 15 yards on a third down in the third. And he turned a 6-yard grab into a 16-yard gain against the blitz. Maclin could have had another big gain on the Eagles’ second-to-last drive, but Vick’s pass was batted at the line by Ndamukong Suh.

Jason Avant – He had two catches on four targets for 21 yards, including a nice 17-yard grab in the second. I’m not sure why he didn’t try to run out of bounds after making a 4-yard catch near sideline at the end of the first half. On the Maclin 70-yard score, the Eagles lined up in a bunch formation, and two Lions defenders went with Avant, leaving Maclin wide open.

Riley Cooper – Played 10 snaps and finished with a pair of catches for 18 yards. Cooper had a third-down grab for a first early on and a 10-yard grab in the second. This was his first action of the season.

Brent Celek – Rough day for the veteran tight end on a number of different levels. He seems to be on the receiving end of big hits every week, but there’s no questioning Celek’s toughness. He had a chance for a monster game, but finished with just four catches for 33 yards. He dropped what should have been an 8-yard touchdown in the third and was called for pass interference, negating a touchdown on another drive. Celek dropped what could have been a third-down conversion in the first quarter. As a blocker, good job on Brown’s 5-yard run in the third. For some reason, he was asked to block Cliff Avril one-on-one in the third, even though the Lions weren’t blitzing, and Celek gave up a sack.

Clay Harbor – A non-factor. He played 20 snaps, but had just two grabs for 9 yards.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.

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  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    If an NFL Linemen who can’t find his way to run block is pretty much useless. For crying out loud, run blocking in the NFL, especially for Shady McCoy is basically just standing in the way of a defender preventing him access to your ball carrier.

  • Anonymous

    Kal, that statement couldn’t be more inaccurate. There is a lot more to run blocking and the run game than offensive lineman acting as some sort of “barrier.”

  • Charlie

    Can we also attribute this to the fact that we continuously ran stupid stretch runs against a Lions Wide-9? We ran perfectly before, that is if Marty decides to run, against other defenses. The difference here is that Lions runs a Wide-9… You run UP THE GUT against a Wide-9. The commentator specifically stated this several times that day and there was no adjustment by Marty who continuously proves he is inept. I typically agree with Sheil but he should have included this with his assessment.

    • Charlie

      I can recall two shotgun draws that gashed the Lions for big gains that proves this during that game but they got away from that.