When Philadelphia Eagles star RB LeSean McCoy went down late in Week 11 against the Washington Redskins with a concussion, it was time at last for rookie RB Bryce Brown to show his stuff as a feature-back on football’s biggest stage.
Brown trotted out onto the gridiron for his first NFL start in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers in a prime-time contest under the lights of Monday Night Football. And believe me when I say, nobody could have predicted just what kind of mark Brown would leave on the game.
After Brown was almost completely invisible in McCoy’s shadow over the Eagles’ first 10 games, the rookie exploded for an amazing 178 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 19 carries.
While he was obviously expected to follow up this fantastic performance with a modest showing, Brown did not slow down one step, as he broke off 169 rushing yards along with two more touchdowns in the Eagles’ NFC East grudge-match with the Dallas Cowboys the following week.
In the wake of these two monstrous showings, it looked like Brown was well on his way to becoming a legitimate threat as an NFL running back. Well, did that change quickly.
Throughout the next two weeks combined, Brown came plummeting back down to earth, as he was only able to manage a pathetic 40 rushing yards on 28 carries. McCoy returned in Week 16, and Brown was shipped back to the bench where he returned to his previous irrelevance.
So the burning question is, in his four starts on the season, which two contests featured the real Bryce Brown, and which two were flukes?
After Brown put forth two sets of performances that were such polar opposites, it is very hard to tell if he actually has what it takes to develop into a prominent professional back. His sample size of play is just far too small to make any sort of serious judgments at this time.
The way I see it, Brown’s next chance at relevance will come somewhere else than Philadelphia, as he will do nothing but rot away on the Eagles’ bench as long as McCoy is healthy.
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