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New Orleans Defense Slows Down LeSean McCoy

LeSeanMcCoy1The New Orleans Saints traveled to a frigid Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles. The stadium was filled with fans that sold out their team’s tickets in just three minutes and whose hopes were flying as high as their Eagles were for the final eight games of the season.

One of the primary causes of the Eagles high-flying hopes for their NFC East Champions was the running back who led the team all year. LeSean McCoy put together a historical season that broke franchise records and took home numerous awards including the NFL rushing title, December Player of the Month honors, and an All-Pro nod for the second time in his young career. However, when it came to the most important game of the year, McCoy met a defense that was well-prepare for him.

It was clear from the start that the main focus of the Saints defense was to shut down Shady. With just 32 yards on 10 carries in the first half, their job was done with perfection.

In the first quarter of what was a scoreless game, the Eagles faced a 4th-and-1 from the Saints 23-yard line.  Chip “The High Stakes Gambler” chose to go for the conversion and called on the ever-reliable McCoy. The NFL’s leading rusher took the handoff behind his right tackle and gained 8 yards for an easy conversion. The drive then turned sour as a screen intended for tight end Brent Celek was blown up and Nick Foles was sacked. The drive resulted in a 48-yard field goal attempt that was missed by Alex Henery. The three-point try ended up being the difference in a 26-24 Eagles loss, but that is a discussion for another day.

The first quarter was not the only appearance Shady made on fourth down. In a drive that followed a Mark Ingram touchdown run and a mocking of the “Shady Bounce” that McCoy celebrates with after most of his touchdowns, McCoy took the reins and got his team into the endzone. The drive began with an 11-yard dart by McCoy that set the tempo for the drive.

Later, while in the redzone, Shady made one of his signature cuts that provoked the name Barry Sanders from the mouths of Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels as he left a defender stumbling with arms full of air on his way to the two-yard-line. Again, the former Pitt Panther was called upon on 4th-and-Goal from the one-and-a-half yard line. Behind fellow All-Pro Evan Mathis, McCoy and the offensive line made a strong push to get into the endzone. The touchdown put the Eagles within one possession of the Saints lead. Striking distance.

With McCoy suddenly running angrily, a mixture of an opponent mocking him and his team losing for the third time in three career playoff appearances, the Saints again focused their efforts into shutting him down. It was apparent on the 4th quarter touchdown from Nick Foles to tight end Zach Ertz. The ball was faked to McCoy and the entire Saints defense shifted to the direction in which he was running. Ertz then broke out in the opposite direction and the Saints defense was playing catch-up as he caught the 3-yard touchdown with ease and the Eagles took a 24-23 lead. Even without the ball in his hands, McCoy was a factor.

LeSean McCoy finished his day with 25 touches for just 92 total yards. His 77 yards on the ground was tied for his third lowest output over the final eight weeks of the season and his 3.7 yards-per-carry average was tied for his lowest over that same span. His 92 total yards of offense was his lowest since November 3rd when Nick Foles put on an aerial assault on the Oakland Raiders.

The Saints had clear intentions of who they planned on shutting down in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. LeSean McCoy was their number one target and they effectively shut down the running back. Chip Kelly never strayed from the gameplan and continued to feed the beast that feasts in the fourth quarter. However, Shady never got that breakout run that always seems to come late in games.

McCoy put together one of the most memorable, if not the most memorable, seasons by an Eagles running back. In just the first year of Chip Kelly’s revolutionary offense, the Eagles broke multiple franchise records from total yards to total points to the individual records for scrimmage yards and rushing yards by LeSean McCoy. The sky is the limit for this team and at just 25 years old, there is no cap on what the man who can cut on a dime can and will do.

With many already looking towards next season, keep the number 1,066 in the back of your mind. That number is the amount of yards that LeSean McCoy needs to become the Eagles all-time leading rusher.

Follow Brenden on Twitter @brendenp2011 for Eagles updates, news, and opinions.

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Posted by on Jan 5 2014. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Running Backs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

26 Comments for “New Orleans Defense Slows Down LeSean McCoy”

  1. Good season by the eagles, tough loss last night but is believe they will be better with chip in charge they can only get better. Hope foles continues to develop because he was a nice surprise.

  2. I’d like to see the Eagles add a lead blocker on some running plays. I’d like to see more power sweeps as well (they have the linemen for it). I would have liked more 1st and 2nd down runs last night which might have setup more 3rd and shorts.
    I really think that our coaching staff was very out-coached last night. Sean Payton’s plan to feature the run was brilliant and very effective. He knew the Eagles were focused on shutting down Graham. Defensively, they dropped a lot of guys into coverage which killed our offense. Foles needed to take off down field a few times instead of taking big sacks. Shady was under utilized and neither of the other backs touched the ball last night.

  3. Word just hit that the speedy running back from Oregon DeAnthony Thomas has declared for the NFL Draft.

    • We ned a RB, WHY? Who gives a f^#@ about Oregons RB?

      • You don’t get it. They need a special team return man, whether its on kick offs or punt returns. Thomas would be ideal for that and would impact our special teams.. Like a Darren Sproles..

  4. I took me a couple days, but it took me a couple days before I even looked at this site. I am sure that there has been some heated debate, but frankly I wanted at least a little distance from the game to be able to get a small amount of perspective.

    Disappointing end, no doubt. I don’t buy the whole, “your playing with house money” bullshit. This team won 10 games. It ended up being a 2 point game, so it was definately winnable. Losing a winnable playoff game at home is very disappointing, regardless of where we came from the previous year. There were players who did not perform the same as we had during our last half of the season, and that would also include the coaches. Overall, it was a disappointing ending to the season.

    That being said, I believe that we have many reasons to be optimistic for the future of the Birds.

    -This was a rookie head coach with a new staff who had never been in the NFL before. He will only be getting better next year with the experience that he gained this past year.

    -Getting a FULL offseason with the players and staff will be HUGE. The offseason conditioning will continue to be practiced, while both the offense and defense will be install more and more of the schemes.

    -Getting a year under their belts, Kelly and Roseman and Gamble will be working to find players to fit what the team is trying to do. If it is a larger NT, bigger and faster recievers, defensive backfield help or even a new kicker, they will be looking at FA’s and the draft to get “Kelly’s type” of players.

    -With the state of the other teams in the division, we should have a window here (much like Reid did for years) where we can win divisions and division games a great deal.

    There are a lot more reasons I am sure to be optimistic about our team. It was a disappointing ending, with some disappointing performances by some key players, but our outlook is bright.

    GO BIRDS!!!

    • I really don’t buy this is the beginning of something that can only get better. Every season have it’s on challenges and one must grab the opportunity when it’s before you that year because injuries and other unforeseen variables can change everything next year.

      People fail to realize the Eagles had a lot of talent and was projected to finish well above 4-12 before the season, so Chip just did what Andy should have done with a talented team.

      He should have run the ball.

      Now back to the point.

      Atlanta Falcons won 4 games this year.

      Many picked them to be in the Superbowl.

      So, I’ll tell you right now that this team win less games with Foles now that the Vikings have laid the blue print on how to slow the Eagles up tempo defense down.

      Don’t go for the misdirection and have 3 men run to Shady McCoy every play.

      If I know then it’s no secret anymore.

      That’s the reason Foles can’t get into a rhythm early.

      Teams take Shady away along with playing man which stifles the short passing game.

      Bill Parcells made a statement that it’s crazy to believe one season carry over to the other.

      It don’t.

      Each season is different, because you can have a successful season one year then turn around and have a disappointing one with the same personel which separate coaches like Belechick from the rest.

      Belechick is able to sustain continuity because of Tom Brady and it doesn’t matter who the running back is…Running Backs don’t need season breaking records for the Patriots to succeed.

      Belechick don’t need super star receivers for his offense to function on a high level.

      The Eagles won 10 games this year because of a record the previos year that gives easier games along with an offense taking the league by surprise.

      Well both will be out of the way next season.

      We will have a harder schedule with teams now with a blue print on how to stop us. The element of surprise is no longer in our favor.

      Chip Kelly is a special coach who I believe know this also and will work to get his type of guy in waiting behind Foles to give the league the next element of surprise. don’t expect the Eagles to do better with what we have behind center. Teams have the formula.

      peace

      • vinnietheevictor

        “Harder schedule”

        You do realize that the NFL dropped the “picking of games based upon the team’s record” about a decade ago.

        14 games every year are now set 5 years in advance. Do a quick google search and you can see who the birds will play in 2016, 2017 etc.

        Next year the Eagles play the 6 games vs NFC east 4 games against the NFC west (admittedly tough) and 4 against the AFC central…this was scheduled back in 2009. The only 2 “flex” games next year will be against the Bears and Panthers (and again, both those conferences determined 5 years ago, the teams recently, and yes, that’s based upon the Eagles placing 1st…but finishing 2nd would have been no easier….the Cowboys get the Packers and the Saints……I’d rather Panthers and Bears!

        2015 sched is NFC east + AFC east + NFC south + 1 team from NFC North and one from NFC west

        2016 sched is NFC east + NFC north + AFC north + 1 team NFC south + 1 team NFC west

        2017 sched is NFC east + NFC west + AFC west + 1 team NFC north + 1 team NFC south

        That you don’t even know how the NFL schedules games anymore and still think there is the old “first place schedule” system in place is just another nail in the “Songs knows nothing” coffin.

  5. Just read csnphilly djac is a pos f him f him and of you didn’t hear me f him. S he is a scumbag f.ing dick. Asshole

    • Old news cigar, keep puffing away buddy…

    • You came to that conclusion from reading that? Okay LOL maybe he’s over stating his value but guess what? He’ll be here under his current deal or not at all. All that other stuff is your personal feelings towards him which is your right. Man you guys jump to some serious conclusions on this site.

  6. Stop McCoy you stop the Eagles, which is further proof who is the real reason for the offense success.

    Even the Saints said before the game their focus was McCoy.
    Stop McCoy and that forces the game to be on the arm of Foles and we see how that works out.

    • I guess you will have to find a new team again Songs because Chip Kelly said that Nick Foles will be his starting quarterback moving forward.

      Kelly again cited Foles’ accuracy and decision making and said Foles demonstrated what the team needed from a starting QB. The short body of work he did, he did an outstanding job, and he will get better.

      Your friend koolbreez left the Falcons to follow Vick here, but I think his next team will be the 49ers. Colin Keaperrnick gets him moist.

  7. Yep… a 4th quarter drive that gave the Eagles the lead with about 4 minutes left.

    Then Foles kicked it short, horse-collared Sproles and allowed the Saints to run out the clock and kick a last minute FG.

    He must have been tired playing offense, defense and special teams.

  8. Someone just mentioned to me, trade Foles to the Houston Texans for the first overall pick and then draft Teddy Bridgewater because he fits the system better.. I don’t agree with this..

    But If we did have the first ovr pick, id draft Jadaveon Clowney. Imagine that beast on our DLine..

    • How does Bridgewater fit the system better? He’s a pocket passer, he’s not even fast and rarely does he leave the pocket. Jameis Winston leaves the pocket more, and he rarely takes off too. Some people just talk out of their backside with no clue. Just because he’s an African American QB doesn’t mean he’s mobile. Whoever that person was Jon, hasn’t watched Bridgewater play, they see a color, not a person playing QB!

      • I agree Eagle, there are a lot of biased eagle fans

        • Add B Hundley to the Black QB list who is actually a Pocket QB and not a Scrambler.. He’s Athletic enough to do so, but chooses to operate out of the Pocket..

    • Texans would have to receive a whole lot more than Nick Foles for their #1
      Pick.. Word is that they are looking for 2 1st Round Picks and at least a 2nd and a 3rd Pick, which would be crazy to trade that many High Picks away for Bridgewater or Clowney or any Player in my Opinion

  9. We need some killers on this defense, pardon my expression, but on the field wise.. Look at the SF 49ers. That defense is intimidating, ferocious, attacking, aggressive.. That LB core is flawless, they can cover and play the run. That Dline is one of if not the best in football. I know its not the same scheme they run necessarily, but I want Chip, Billy, Gamble and the rest of the crew to look for guys from this elk..

  10. I continue to wonder why people on here say ‘he fits the system better than files’ yet the coach who brought the system says otherwise . We have a young QB who was prolific with a flawed team around him.

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