Eagles run the ball (and the clock) to ice game

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Eagles run the ball (and the clock) to ice game

Is LeSean McCoy back?

November 11, 2013, 8:00 am
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LeSean McCoy ran for more yards on the Eagles' final drive (50) than he averaged in his previous three games (49). (USA Today Images)

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – They knew what was coming. And they still couldn’t stop it.

The Eagles led the Packers by 14 points early in the fourth quarter. The defense had just stuffed the Pack on a 4th-and-4 deep in Eagles territory, but there was a lot of football left to play, and a 14-point lead at Lambeau never seems safe. No matter who’s at quarterback.

There was 9:32 left in the fourth quarter.

The Packers never ran another play.

LeSean McCoy and the Eagles ran out the clock with a monster 15-play, 9½-minute drive to finish off their 27-13 win over the Packers Sunday (see Instant Replay).

McCoy, working against the NFL’s No. 5 run defense and a stacked box, ran nine times for 50 yards on the final drive.

He had more yards on that final drive than he averaged the previous three games (49).

“Felt as an offense we were really together,” McCoy said.

“Late in the game, when we needed to drive the ball and ice the game out, we did that. We needed to make a play, we did that.”

The Eagles ran 37 times for 204 yards Sunday, with McCoy netting 155 yards on 25 carries and Nick Foles adding a career-high 38 yards (he was 5-for-41 before three kneeldowns). Bryce Brown added 11 yards.

McCoy’s third 150-yard game of the year set a franchise record, as did his fourth career 150-yard game.

“As far as a football game goes, you don’t usually have more fun than that,” guard Evan Mathis said.

“You’re ahead, which is good, and then to go out there with nine-plus minutes on the clock and be able to run the ball effectively and be able to completely control the clock, get first downs, it’s a great feeling.

“We take a lot of pride in being able to do that. It’s comforting knowing that you’re able to do that.”

The Eagles did the same thing in Tampa, clinching a 31-20 win with a 12-play drive that led to a field goal.

They now have three 200-yard rushing games in a season for the first time since 1986.

“I think the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage,” McCoy said. “The backs we have, you give us 1-on-1 opportunity with a linebacker, defensive end or a safety, nine times out of 10, we’re going to make them miss, and today that’s what’s happened.

“I think it’s one thing for a back to be confident to run the ball, it’s another when the guys up front want to run the ball even more than you do. It says a lot about the guys up front the way they played today.”

This was only the sixth time since 1991 the Packers have allowed 200 rushing yards in a game at home.

McCoy’s 155 yards are the second-most the Packers have allowed at home since 2006.

“The O-line did a great job, especially on that last drive, but they did a great job all night,” Foles said. “[McCoy] did a great job in the open field, a great job in small windows, and we have to continue to do that. It opens up everything we do.”

McCoy was coming off three uncharacteristic games, all three under 60 yards and 4.0 yards a pop.

Despite that, he now has an NFL-best 932 yards and a 4.8 average through 10 games. He’s 61 yards ahead of Marshawn Lynch for the NFL rushing lead.

“I think today I had more lanes and a lot more 1-on-1 opportunities,” McCoy said. “I was to the second level so fast today. I was just hitting it, and the guys up front just got it done in a big way.”

On the 9½-minute drive that ended the game, the Eagles threw just once –- Foles completed an eight-yard pass to James Casey on a 3rd-and-7 while the Eagles were still deep in their own end.

Foles also converted a 2nd-and-9 just before the two-minute warning with a nine-yard lumber.

“Obviously , it’s a couple-score game, so even if we did turn the ball back over, hopefully there’s not enough time left on the clock so they can put together a couple [scoring] plays,” head coach Chip Kelly said.

“Everybody knew what was going to happen. Everybody knew we were running it. You’ve got to have a four-minute offense in this league to win, and we feel comfortable right now that we’re getting better at it.”

The Eagles recorded six first downs on the drive and converted their only third down.

“Just dominating,” is how McCoy described the offensive line’s performance. “It’s a good feeling because the defense knows we’re going to run the ball, we’re not going to throw it, and they’re going to stack the box and we’re going to run it.”

McCoy was asked if he got tired carrying nine times on that final drive, but he said the opposite was true.

Because the Eagles were running out the clock, they shelved the no-huddle and actually ran clock.

There was actually recovery time for a change.

“You would think a long drive like that you would get tired, but you don’t because you’re so used to going so fast that we actually slow down, it’s like a huddle, and we haven’t huddled since last year,” he said.

“So to get a chance to really huddle up and call the plays, it’s a totally different feeling.”

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