LeSean McCoy broke a team record today for yards rushing in a game with 217 yards on 29 carries. The previous record of 205 yards was held by Steve Van Buren, which he accomplished way back on November 27, 1949.
It was an amazing total for Shady, but he will be the first to admit that he didn’t do it alone. The offensive line created huge holes for him all day and really found their footing in the second half. Working against the third ranked rush defense that features two of the best defensive tackles in the league, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairely, the offensive line man-handled the Lions defensive front in the second-half, paving the way for Shady to explode. I’ve said all season that they are the best run-blocking unit in the entire NFL, and this afternoon, it certainly looked that way.
Still, when someone runs for 217 yards in a game, they were doing something special individually.
It was a tail of two half’s for McCoy who ran for 53 yards in the first half, got his footing in the second-half and ran for 164 total-yards, including 148 yard in the 4th quarter alone. The 2009 second round pick of the Eagles has been compared to Barry Sanders and ironically had his best career game against Sanders former team, putting him firmly in the discussion for best running-back in the league. He has now rushed for 1305 yards from scrimmage on the season, and is currently leading the league. There’s been a few considerations out there for Nick Foles as league MVP, but the real most valuable player of this team has been LeSean McCoy.
The snow gave Detroit a slight edge in this game, unlike what some people might think. There were blizzard-like conditions at game time, forcing the passing and the kicking game almost completely out of the playbooks, which forced both coaches (Chip Kelly and Jim Schwartz) to run the ball. That played right into the hands of the Lions elite rush defense, forcing the Eagles to run at Suh and Fairley. At least that is what conventional wisdom would tell you.
But in the snow, as any football player will tell you, the offensive player always has an advantage with the football. They know where they’re going and when they’re doing it, which is a huge advantage with footing and leverage. Throw in Shady’s cuts and moves, and it was an enormous mismatch for Detroit to handle. Without McCoy, Detroit may have ran away with this game.
It took a while for the Philly offense to start to click, but as the blizzard subsided in the second half, Chip Kelly’s unit began to role. Lesean McCoy and teammates are making a real push for the playoffs, and if they can play anywhere near the level they were at during the second half, not only will a playoff spot be coming their way, but an MVP could also be in LeSean McCoy’s future.