PHILADELPHIA -- If LeSean McCoy was on Chip Kelly’s fantasy team, the coach might be a little bit more concerned about McCoy’s rushing numbers. The NFL’s leading rusher last season, McCoy has 175 yards through three games.
That’s good for 16th in the league. On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0 and second in the NFL with an average of 33.7 points per game. So Kelly isn’t exactly in a panic.
“I think it's different how they're playing us this year,” Kelly said Monday. “We've seen different looks in terms of the three games we've played this year compared to last year. I think LeSean's doing everything possible. Again, if that's how you're going to do it, and we're going to end up with 30 whatever points a game and continue to be productive on the offensive side of the ball, it's ultimately that."
McCoy gained just 1.2 yards per carry (22 yards on 19 rushes) Sunday against Washington. One reason for that was the spate of injuries along the Eagles’ offensive line. They lost center Jason Kelce to a sports hernia, while left tackle Jason Peters was ejected for striking Washington nose tackle Chris Baker.
“When we got down there at the end, the only starting lineman we had left was Todd Herremans, who was actually playing another position,” Kelly said. “Todd ended up out at tackle at the end of the game. You talk about always getting the same guys on the same page and continuity and all those other things, and there are a lot of different people thrown in there. But give Washington credit. They did a really nice job up front.”
But in loading up the box to neutralize McCoy, Washington also created opportunities in the passing game. Quarterback Nick Foles, who leads the NFL in passing yards, completed 27 of 41 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
“They stayed in base front even though we were usually trying to get nickel personnel in there and 11 (one back, one tight end), they stayed in base front,” Kelly said. “A lot of people play us more nickel, they decided to play us in base. So if you're going to play us in base, it's difficult to cover the pass. So it's picking what they want to do.”
The important thing for the Eagles is being able to respond to what defenses do. So far, that’s happened. The Eagles are 3-0, even if that doesn’t help those with McCoy on their fantasy teams.