In case you missed it, our friends at ESPN Stats & Information recently handed out the 2010 Next-Level Awards. The group did video analysis of every NFL game this season and Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy received an award that might surprise a few folks. He was named "best running back facing a loaded box."
"LeSean McCoy, literally, ran away with this award thanks to some hard-nosed running -- an aspect of his game that often is overlooked. Being surrounded by weapons like Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin overshadowed the fact that McCoy was the league’s best back in 2010 when there were more defenders in the box than available blockers (creating a loaded box).
"Fourteen running backs had at least 30 attempts against a loaded box this season. McCoy finished in the top four in rushing yards (207), touchdowns (three) and attempts per first down (2.8), despite having the fewest carries of those 14 backs (36).
"Also, McCoy was more than up to the task of running out the clock. One-third of his rushes against a loaded box came in the fourth quarter with the Eagles leading. McCoy rushed 12 times for 85 yards and three first downs in those situations. His 7.1 yards per rush was tops among backs with at least 10 carries."
It was McCoy who took a pitch from Michael Vick on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter of a game against the Giants this season and raced 50 yards for a touchdown. Perhaps Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg will try to remember to feed the ball to McCoy against the Packers on Sunday, but I wouldn't bet on it.
In other Next-Level news, Vick won the "best QB outside the pocket" award. He had a 93.5 passer rating on throws made outside the pocket and an impressive 7.7 yards per attempt.