When the Philadelphia Eagles host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, they should get running back LeSean McCoy more involved with the offense. McCoy is the difference maker for the Eagles.
Moreover, he could take a lot of pressure off Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. McCoy had 20 carries for 110 yards in the Eagles 17-16 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. This was his 10th career 100-yard rushing game. He averaged 5.5 yards a carry.
The 5-foot-11, 208-pounder, is easily one of the best running backs in the NFL. In addition, he can catch passes coming out of the backfield too. McCoy had 273 carries for 1,309 yards while scoring 17 touchdowns last season on 4.8 yards a carry. He also had 48 receptions for 315 yards and scored three TDs through the air.
The Eagles have to utilize him more. In the sloppy win over the Browns, there were a number of times Vick was put in third and long situations. You don’t want your quarterback in bad situations. He threw four interceptions, three were poor decisions. Vick threw the football 56 times. He was 29-of-56 for 317 yards and two TDs. You can’t have your signal callers putting the ball in the air that much. Even if he’s having a good day eventually something bad is going to happen.
The offense has to be more balanced. Vick was able to get away with throwing four picks against the Browns. But that won’t happen against the Ravens’ defense led by Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis and free safety Ed Reed.
The Eagles are going to need a good running game against the Ravens. Baltimore has a prolific offense with quarterback Joe Flacco. They can’t afford to turn the ball over to him. Flacco has some great receivers with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith. The Ravens also have a good running back in Ray Rice, who can really pick up large chunks of yardage on the ground. The Eagles should try to keep their offensive unit on the sideline as much as possible.
So, running the football is going to be very important. Of course, this is nothing new with Eagles head coach Andy Reid. He has been throwing the football for the last 13 years.
But Reid needs to take another look at his game plan. It needs to be more diverse and more explosive. McCoy can provide that kind of change of pace for the Eagles. He’s a young player. McCoy is 24 years old. He can handle the extra load.
They’re going to have to do a better job of taking care of the ball in the home opener. The Eagles are going to have to cut down on the number of penalties. They were penalized 12 times for 110 yards. That kills a lot of drives.
More than anything, they’re going to have to work through their Pro Bowl running back to help to get the offense moving. If they have to throw the ball on every down, the Eagles are going to have a lot of trouble beating the Ravens.