LeSean McCoy had arguably the best season any Eagles running back has ever had. Not only was he best running back in the NFL this season, but he also set the Eagles single season rushing record, topping Wilbert Montgomery who put up 1,512 in 1979. All together, the Eagles' running game was the best in the NFL. In total, they racked up 2,566 yards. They were also 2nd in touchdowns with 19 of them. It's hard to think just how many yards they could have collected if Michael Vick was able to stay healthy all year - but then of course Nick Foles doesn't do what he did in 2013.
LeSean McCoy - A+
Shady Bounce. There were 11 in total this year. It really is beautiful watching Shady carry the ball. It can really take your breath away - but in two different ways. One is from his amazing, jaw dropping, ankle breaking moves, and the other when he holds the ball a mile from his body and when he goes down in pain. There were two instances this year where Shady went down writhing in pain. And twice I did not expect him to get back up. But, to my surprise, he was able to walk off the field both times, and even return to action later in the game.
Just think, what if he really did get hurt during those times on the ground. The Eagles would certainly not be in the position they were in come the end of the season. McCoy is so vital to this offense, without him, Chip's offense would have not been as effective as it was designed to be. Ok, that's a terrible thought, forget I made you think of that - shame on me.
When you try to explain the running style of Shady, its difficult. When a back frequently deviates from the drawn up play and bounces it out around the tackles, or runs clear back across the field in order to gain a few yards its not within the confines of the term "conventional." But the term unconventional player gets thrown around too much that it wouldn't be fair to assign it to McCoy. He truly is a special player, and 2013 was his year to show the rest of the league just how good he is. Chip Kelly is certainly lucky to have the best running back in football on his team in 2013.
Another record that Shady made his own was the single season yards from scrimmage record, previously held by the running back he succeeded, Brian Westbrook. The new record stands at 2,146.
Here's to Shady in 2013, a man dead set on crushing all Eagles rushing records, and to his continued pursuit of that in 2014.
Bryce Brown - B
Bryce Brown is thriving in his role as back up. Sure, when you look at his season stat line and see 314 yards you might ask yourself, how is that thriving?
In his second year out of Kansas St., Brown is finally getting the respect he deserves. Commentators are actually making note of when he replaces McCoy in games, and speaking to the threat he poses when he takes the ball out of the backfield. He is the perfect compliment to McCoy. Both are very similar rushers, but Brown is more downhill.
Against the Chicago Bears, a game that was already well in hand for the Eagles, Michael Vick came in and handed off to Brown. Before the commentators could let the audience know Vick was in, Brown ripped off a 65 yard touchdown run, his longest run of the entire season.
A problem that most people have with Brown is that in 2012 he had 4 fumbles. This year, he was a sure thing carrying the ball, never coughing it up. That's what you want in a secondary back. I'm not sure if it was Chip who changed his running style, or the fact that Brown was never the feature back this year, like he was in 2012, filling in for an injured McCoy.
BONUS! Nick Foles (the Rusher) - C+
Nick Foles running with the ball certainly is not pretty, but it gets the job done. In the beginning of the season, most of us were against Nick Foles getting the job because of his immobility. Okay maybe not immobility, but way less mobility than Michael Vick.
Actually have to give Foles a lot of credit here. He certainly is not your prototypical running quarterback, but he did confuse defenses when running the read option. He picked up 15 first downs with his legs and rushed for three touchdowns. One more than Bryce Brown.
Next up: Receivers
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