One of the biggest criticisms of head coach Andy Reid over his tenure as Philadelphia’s head coach has been his inability to successfully balance the passing attack with the run game.
In fact, Reid’s teams pass the ball at a higher percentage than any other coach in the history of the National Football League, despite frequently possessing quality running backs (Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook, and now, LeSean McCoy).
But this season, Reid showed signs that he might finally–FINALLY–be running the football at a consistent pace instead of always resorting to the pass.
Against the Washington Redskins, McCoy carried 28 times (for 126 yards and a touchdown), and against the Dallas Cowboys, McCoy carried a career-high 30 times. Not surprisingly, the Eagles won both games, re-establishing themselves as a threat in the NFC.
But against the Bears, McCoy carried 16 times. The Eagles lost 30-24. And in Sunday’s devastating loss to the Cardinals, McCoy was given just 14 carries.
14 carries to ONE OF THE BEST RUNNING BACKS IN THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!
McCoy’s lack of carries had nothing to do with the Eagles winning or losing big, because, well, they were locked in a close game for 60 minutes.
He just wasn’t given the football. He carried nine times in the first half and just five in the second half, including just two in the fourth quarter. Oh, and he carried the ball on exactly ONE of the Eagles’ final 20 plays.
That is absolutely inexcusable. That is unforgivable. That is unacceptable. That is pathetic.
That cost the Eagles the game, plain and simple.
McCoy averaged 5.8 yards per rush today. He is averaging 5.5 yards per rush this season. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He never fumbles. He’s never hurt.
And he never gets the ball with the game on the line.
The Eagles could have used DeSean Jackson in their game against Arizona. No question about it. But they could have used LeSean McCoy even more. Too bad they actually had him on the field today. They just chose not to use him.
In the Eagles’ six losses this season, McCoy has 18, 24, 9, 11, 16, and 14 carries. 24 is great. I can deal with 18. 16 is not quite enough. 14 is too low. 11 is unacceptable. And 9 is completely ridiculous.
Check out his carries in their victories: 15, 28, 30. Oh, look! More carries, more victories! Amazing coincidence.
Unfortunately it virtually won’t matter for the rest of the season, as the Eagles are all but eliminated following their no-show against the Cardinals this week.
Give credit to soon-to-be-former head coach Andy Reid for playing a major role in costing the Eagles their season by refusing to hand the ball off to his star running back more than a few times per quarter.