Didinger: Lack of carries for Shady 'doesn't make any sense'
LeSean McCoy received just eight carries in the Eagles' loss, his fewest carries in his last 55 games. (USA Today Images)
MINNEAPOLIS -- We all thought the days of LeSean McCoy getting single-digit carries ended when Chip Kelly replaced Andy Reid as head coach of the Eagles.
Kelly loves to run the football, McCoy came into the weekend leading the NFL in rushing yards, the Vikings ranked 22nd in rush defense and everything pointed to McCoy having another big game Sunday.
Not even close.
McCoy got just eight carries Sunday in the Eagles’ 48-30 loss to the Vikings at the Metrodome, his fewest carries in his last 55 games (see Instant Replay).
One week after breaking Steve Van Buren’s franchise record for rushing yards in a game with 217 and having his jersey, gloves and cleats sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, McCoy was just 8 for 38 rushing against the Vikings (see 10 observations).
“I’m very surprised,” left tackle Jason Peters said. “I’d have almost bet money coming into today’s game, if they said Shady was only going to get eight carries, I would have put money on it and said they were wrong.
“Whatever the coach calls, we’re going to run it. We got down so we couldn’t really run the ball as much, but we could have stuck some runs in there here and there in the first half.”
McCoy did have five catches for 68 yards, giving him 106 yards from scrimmage, but the eight carries are his fewest since the 2010 opener against the Packers, when he was 7 for 35.
McCoy came into the game averaging 20.8 carries per game, second most in the NFL behind Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson -- who sat out Sunday’s game.
“Sometimes being down so fast you got to go to something else,” McCoy said. “The type of competitor I am, I want the ball at all costs. But at times like this, when you have to throw the ball, it pretty much eliminates the running back.”
McCoy was asked if he spoke to Kelly about getting the ball more.
“The good thing with Coach Kelly is we have an understanding,” McCoy said. “He knows how competitive each player is. Sometimes … ‘Coach, let me get going,’ or, ‘Let me get this play or that play,’ but he does a great job distributing the ball out to all the players and getting everybody enough touches.
“There’s really no need to tell him what to do because he knows what to do.”
McCoy averaged 21 carries for 114 yards during the Eagles’ five-game winning streak that ended Sunday.
The Eagles are 16-2 since 2010 when McCoy gets 20 carries. They’re 15-27 when he doesn’t.
“I’m more frustrated about the loss,” McCoy said. “We prepared so well for this team, and we know how much we needed a win. To come up short, we can only be angry at ourselves.”
Kelly said the lopsided score of the game rendered the running game obsolete.
But this was an eight-point game at halftime, and the Eagles’ first third-quarter drive was all pass plays -- including a 12-yard sack of Nick Foles.
“We got down a little bit there and we really weren’t moving them very well out front,” Kelly said. “It felt like we were down by two scores the whole time.”