Even after the bye week, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy is holding onto the NFL rushing lead. He is being hotly pursued by Adrian Peterson, but nonetheless he’s still in front and the only back to currently break 1,000 yards. However, McCoy has one of the stiffer challenges he’s faced all year on the horizon as the Arizona Cardinals come to town. The Cardinals defense ranks second in the NFL against the run, allowing just under 82 yards per game, creating an intriguing matchup between the league’s best rusher and one of the premier run defenses.
Added to the pressure of facing such a large challenge, the Eagles are in desperate need of a win to keep up in the NFC East and McCoy is a key to them doing it. Although his multi-faceted abilities will allow him to test the Cardinals in the pass game as well, it will be his work on the ground that will be extremely important to the success of the team and the outcome of the game on Sunday. Since the injury to Michael Vick and the takeover of Nick Foles, McCoy’s work on the ground has become exponentially more important. His success helps to set up the pass and create avenues to get other players involved.
Shady has really thrived in the new system brought to Philadelphia by Chip Kelly. For the Eagles to make a statement in the division and to keep up with the race to the finish he’ll need to have a productive game in all aspects and help carry the load of making the Eagles dangerous against a very good Cardinals team.