McCoy's numbers slipping, but Eagles winning

By ROB MAADDI - AP Pro Football Writer
    2013-11-06 17:15

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - LeSean McCoy glances at the NFL leaderboard and sees he's still first in rushing.

It's not the most important number for him.

''The biggest thing is winning,'' McCoy said Wednesday. ''I'd rather be winning than have a ton of yards.''

McCoy had just 44 yards rushing on 12 carries in the Philadelphia Eagles' 49-20 win at Oakland last Sunday. It was the third straight game he was held under 60 yards and fourth time in five weeks. The Eagles (4-5) are 3-2 in those games, however.

If defenses gear up to stop McCoy, it usually opens up the passing game. Nick Foles took advantage of the Raiders' secondary, throwing seven touchdown passes to tie an NFL record.

''They're trying to do as much as possible to stop the run,'' McCoy said. ''If that's what you want to do, we'll take our shots in the quick game, the sidelines, over the top. It's a matter of what you really want.

''From now on we'll probably see more honest looks. If they try and stop the run, they're leaving something open and you can only be happy about that.''

McCoy, a 2011 All-Pro, started off strong with 184 yards rushing in a win at Washington in Week 1. He had 158 yards in a loss to Kansas City two weeks later and 116 in a win at Tampa Bay on Oct. 13.

Those performances helped him get an early lead for the NFL rushing title, but his hold is slipping. He has 777 yards, just 51 ahead of Seattle's Marshawn Lynch.

Kansas City's Jamaal Charles is third with 725 and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson trails by 66 with one game in hand.

''I'm not frustrated,'' McCoy said. ''You can't really worry about that kind of stuff. The individual yards and stuff will still come out at the end.''

Coach Chip Kelly isn't concerned about McCoy's declining production because the Eagles find other ways to take advantage of defenses.

''Thank goodness we're not in a fantasy league as coaches,'' Kelly joked. ''It's how productive is the offense and are we moving the ball. I've said it since Day One, we're an equal opportunity deal. If you want to let us throw it, then we're going to throw it.

''If you want to let us run it, then we're going to run it. If for some reason the running game is not working but we're throwing the heck out of the ball, then we'll continue to do that.''

McCoy isn't just a decoy, though. He's a valuable part of the passing attack. He had 114 yards receiving against San Diego in Week 2, and has 29 receptions for 320 yards and one TD this season.

''He adds a ton of value in the passing game,'' Kelly said. ''I think he can be a mismatch problem and some of those things. I thought he played a really good game (against Oakland). They were blitzing a few times. He was good in pass protection again and pickups and things like that.''

McCoy is on pace for a career-high 299 carries. Backup Bryce Brown had his best game last week, gaining 54 yards on seven carries. An effective Brown would help McCoy get rest, something that takes on more importance in Kelly's up-tempo, no-huddle offense.

''A lot of that is also what is the defense giving us, and there's going to be some games where it's not a consistent thing where he's going to get `X' amount of carries each game because we do the same exact thing offensively each game,'' Kelly said.

''Some games are going to be relied upon in the run game a little bit more, other times they're going to pass it a little bit more. So I think with the ability to have Bryce and to have Chris Polk and to be able to work those guys in, that's something that we're really trying to monitor on a game-by-game basis.''

McCoy anticipates playing a bigger role at Green Bay (5-3) on Sunday. The Packers are fifth-best against the run, allowing just 94.5 yards per game. But they have key injuries on defense.

NOTES: Despite Foles' performance, Kelly still wouldn't give him the nod to start this week. It's unlikely Michael Vick will return from a hamstring injury that has forced him to miss three full games and not finish two others. ''Nick is starting in practice today,'' Kelly said, sticking with his plan not to reveal anything. ... DE Cedric Thornton (knee) didn't practice. Vick, CB Bradley Fletcher (pectoral) and LB Jake Knott (hamstring) were limited.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org


Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP-RobMaaddi

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