Updating Stat Projections for LeSean McCoy in Eagles' Remaining Games
Foles is thriving in Chip Kelly’s offense, having tossed 16 touchdown passes without an interception this season. He’s an impeccable decision-maker, he doesn’t force throws and he can even run with the football.
Lost in the success of the team though is always-reliable running back LeSean McCoy, who may be the best back in the NFL not named Adrian Peterson. McCoy is a former All-Pro who has bounced back from a disappointing 2012 campaign that saw him miss the stretch run with a concussion.
McCoy is leading the National Football League in rushing yards (1,009). He’s averaging 4.7 yards per carry. He’s fourth in missed tackles (40), and that number would be much higher but McCoy jukes his way out of so many would-be tackle attempts. And McCoy is on pace to become the 13th player in history with 2,000 yards from scrimmage, 10 total touchdowns, 50 receptions and 4.7 yards per carry.
He’s a legitimate MVP candidate, should the Eagles qualify for the postseason. In December, Philadelphia plays a slew of NFC teams fighting for playoff spots, which gives McCoy tremendous opportunities to solidify his case as one of the game’s elite offensive weapons.
Given the way Foles and the Eagles offensive line have been playing, there’s a good chance McCoy finishes as strong as he’s started. Here’s a prediction of McCoy’s stats over the Eagles’ final five games.
Week 13: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Philadelphia Eagles have a tough matchup in Week 13 against a surging Arizona Cardinals team that has won four straight games.
Arizona rates eighth in scoring defense and seventh in total defense, but its second-ranked rushing defense will be the biggest problem for McCoy. The Cardinals have a formidable front line with Calais Campbell, Dan Williams and Darnell Dockett, with Matt Shaughnessy playing admirably as a rotational player.
The Eagles counter with arguably the best run-blocking offensive line in the NFL, led by two offensive tackles who can get to the second level with ease. There, Jason Peters and Lane Johnson will meet up with Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby, two of the game’s finest inside linebackers.
The key will be a balanced run-pass ratio, one that forces the Cardinals defensive backs to account for Foles’ arm. That way, McCoy can take advantage of the carries he does get.
Look for a much-improved Eagles defense to come away with a close win in front of their home crowd.
Prediction: Eagles 23, Cardinals 20
LeSean McCoy’s Stats: 22 carries, 76 yards, 1 TD, 3 catches, 12 yards; 25 touches, 88 yards, 1 TD
Week 14: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions
For the second straight game, the Philadelphia Eagles will face a difficult run defense. This time, it’s the Detroit Lions, led by Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Ezekiel Ansah.
The Lions are just 22nd in both total defense and scoring defense, but that’s because of a passing defense that ranks near the bottom of the league. Cornerback Chris Houston is largely responsible for that, as he’s allowed the second-most yards of any corner in the NFL this season, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
Foles is playing well enough that he should be able to take advantage of the Lions secondary. That should, in turn, make life much easier for McCoy. McCoy was held to just 22 yards on 14 carries a year ago against the Lions, so it will be important that Foles does his part as a passer.
Ultimately, this game may come down to Foles and his ability to keep up with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the high-powered Detroit offense.
Prediction: Lions 38, Eagles 28
LeSean McCoy’s Stats: 16 carries, 61 yards, 4 catches, 38 yards; 20 touches, 99 yards
Week 15: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
There’s no telling who will be under center for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15. It could be Christian Ponder. It could be Matt Cassel. And it could be Josh Freeman.
This game will have to be an Adrian Peterson special for the Vikings to win. And while Peterson is an immensely talented player, he’s not the once-in-a-generation back we saw a year ago.
McCoy gets himself a fairly easy run defense to play against this week, as the Vikings are the 25th-rated run defense in 2013. They’ve allowed at least 23 points in every single game this season. And their secondary is near the bottom in almost every statistical category, so if Foles can move the ball through the air, it will be easier for McCoy to make plays on the ground.
Prediction: Eagles 31, Vikings 13
LeSean McCoy’s Stats: 26 carries, 192 yards, 2 TD, 2 catches, 12 yards; 28 touches, 204 yards, 2 TD
Week 16: Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears
This should be a fun game for McCoy. The Chicago Bears are making a case to be historically awful. They’ve never recovered from losing Henry Melton for the season, and they’re not getting strong contributions from high draft picks like Shea McClellin or Jon Bostic.
Check out some of the numbers from running backs that have faced the Bears over the past five weeks: Alfred Morris/Roy Helu: 136 yards, three scores. Eddie Lacy: 150 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Bush: 105 yards on just 14 carries. Ray Rice: 131 yards and a touchdown. And Zac Stacy/Benny Cunningham: 196 yards and two scores (plus a 65-yard rush from Tavon Austin).
There’s no limit to what McCoy can do against the Bears. Even Bryce Brown may gain some yards if he gets enough carries and stays between the tackles.
Prediction: Eagles 34, Bears 21
LeSean McCoy’s Stats: 28 carries, 158 yards, 2 TD, 4 catches, 46 yards; 32 touches, 204 total yards, 2 TD
Week 17: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
This is a revenge game for Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles. Last time Foles played the Cowboys, he turned in by far the worst performance of his young NFL career. The Eagles as a team scored just three points in a humiliating 17-3 loss.
This contest could easily be for the division title. The Eagles are 6-5 right now, as are the Cowboys, but Dallas has the edge due to its head-to-head win earlier in the season.
Philadelphia will need a strong showing from McCoy, and it’ll get one. Chip Kelly won’t lose another game to his top rivals, especially one as important as this matchup. A solid outing from Foles and McCoy should give the Eagles their first division title since 2010.
Prediction: Eagles 28, Cowboys 24
LeSean McCoy’s Stats: 18 carries, 81 yards, 1 TD, 3 catches, 58 yards, 1 TD; 21 touches, 139 yards, 2 TD
Season Stats: 323 carries, 1,577 yards, 11 TD, 50 catches, 565 yards, 2 TD; 373 touches, 2,142 yards, 13 TD