Despite pain, LeSean McCoy great once again

Despite pain, LeSean McCoy great once again

September 20, 2013, 11:45 am
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LeSean McCoy ran nine times for 92 yards in the second half after returning from injury. (USA Today Images)

During another record-setting performance, the most memorable thing LeSean McCoy did was leave the game.
 
McCoy gave every Eagles fan on earth a huge scare Thursday night when he suffered what appeared to be a serious lower leg injury just before halftime of the Eagles’ loss to the Chiefs at the Linc.
 
Despite leaving the game late in the second quarter and missing one drive and part of another before returning, McCoy still fashioned another huge game.
 
McCoy went down in a heap after an 18-yard run with 2:16 left in the second quarter.
 
He was on the ground for quite a while as team physician Dr. Peter DeLuca examined his right ankle. His former coach, Andy Reid, also came out to check on McCoy, as did his former trainer, Rick Burkholder, although curiously his current coach, Chip Kelly, did not.
 
“The way I landed, I felt pain right away,” McCoy said. “I couldn’t really press on it. I had that type of injury before so I felt the same pain. That is when I thought it might have been something serious.”
 
McCoy was taken inside for X-rays, but the entire city breathed a collective sigh of relief when he came back out on the field -- with his helmet -- early in the third quarter and returned to the game for the Eagles’ second drive of the second half.
 
“The X-rays look good,” McCoy said. “They didn’t see anything on there. I still was in pain. On a couple of runs I could still feel it. In a game like this, you put the small things behind. I will get treatment on it and I will be fine.”
 
McCoy said he suffered a sprained ankle on the play, but the Eagles have a long week before facing the Broncos in Denver a week from Sunday, so he has a few extra days to recover.
 
The Eagles don’t practice again until Tuesday. After becoming the first team in NFL history to open a season with three games in 11 days, they now have four days off from practice.
 
“I don't think it's serious,” Kelly said. “I know he played pretty well in the second half there.”
 
Yeah, pretty well is an understatement.
 
McCoy ran nine times for 92 yards after the injury, giving him 20 carries for 158 yards in the game. Two of the three biggest games in his career have come this month, 184 yards in the opener in Washington and 158 Thursday night. They’re his first 150-yard games since his 2011 all-pro season.
 
But once again, a big effort by McCoy was wasted in another frustrating loss.
 
The Eagles have 1,385 total yards of offense, eighth-most in NFL history after three games, but they find themselves 1-2 heading off on a three-game road trip.
 
“We’re still that dominant team,” McCoy said. “It’s just a matter of us going back to the basics, heading back to the drawing board and after each game getting better and better.
 
“I think as an offense we just have to make it easy for ourselves and execute the plays that are called, get [the defense] tired, keep the tempo up and keep it going.”
 
As for McCoy, he’s putting up numbers that are nothing less than astonishing:
 
• McCoy has has 514 yards from scrimmage, 11th-most in NFL history after three games and the most in 13 years, since Marshall Faulk had 530 for the Rams in 2000.
 
• McCoy’s 395 rushing yards are 14th-most in NFL history after three games.
 
• McCoy has his career rushing average up to 4.8 yards per carry, 15th-best in NFL history among running backs with 750 or more carries.

• McCoy is only the seventh player in NFL history to open a season with three consecutive games with 150 or more yards from scrimmage, and he’s the first in Eagles history.
 
But here’s the most amazing stat of all, and one that illustrates what a big-time running back McCoy is:
 
His 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the fifth TD in his career of 40 yards or more in the fourth quarter. He’s the first player in NFL history with five career fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 40 yards or more.
 
McCoy’s five longest career touchdown runs have been in the fourth quarter.
 
McCoy also had long fourth-quarter touchdown runs against the Giants in 2009 (66), against the Giants (50) and Lions (46) in 2010 and the Rams (49) in 2011.
 
“It was nothing special,” McCoy said of his latest long fourth-quarter score. “The offensive line played well, and blocked it up. I was untouched and just ran to the goal line.
 
“It was the big boys up front. They moved everyone out of the way. I think once we run the ball enough, we get the [defense] tired. They start guessing what hole I am going to, and that is how it happens.
 
“When the [offensive line] is pushing and move the [the defensive line], guys start to guess and that only creates bigger holes.”
 
With the Eagles sputtering, the question we’re going to hear for the next 10 days is this: Does the Chip Kelly offense work?
 
The Eagles are the fourth team in NFL history and the first in 37 years with 600 yards both rushing and passing after three weeks.
 
But they’re still sitting here 1-2 after three weeks for a variety of reasons -- turnovers, inconsistent defense, third-down inefficiency.
 
“I really do not think there is a defense out there that can physically beat us,” McCoy said. “It is a matter of us as an offense going out there and playing well. If we do not play well, we lose and it shows.
 
“I do not think it’s a matter of the defense stopping us. We’ve played in three games and I don’t see it.”