EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Running back LeSean McCoy knows what expectations are like. He brought them upon himself, and he's not afraid of living up to them.
The sixth-year running back finished the 2014 season with a 17-carry, 99-yard performance against the New York Giants, averaging 5.8 yards per rush against the Eagles' division rivals. He led the Eagles' rushing attack in the 34-26 victory, the team's 10th win of the season.
It was 1 yard shy of his fifth 100-yard rushing performance of the season. He missed a few plays with a knee injury, one that seemed scary until he got to the sideline and was able to shake it off. According to head coach Chip Kelly, McCoy even tried to get back in the game at the end, which likely would have given him the extra yard he needed.
After a career year in 2013, McCoy didn't have time to take a break this year, and he certainly didn't. He had yet another outstanding season rushing behind what was, for a good part of the year, a makeshift offensive line.
McCoy said that, as the Eagles finish off the 2014 season and begin to turn an eye to next year's far-off beginnings, one thing is clear to him: the Eagles will play even better football if they stay healthy.
"The thing is to just limit the turnovers, play Eagles football and stay healthy," McCoy explained following the Eagles' win Sunday. "That's the biggest thing, I think, is stay healthy."
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The unsettled offensive line limited his production in the early going this season, and the fact that he didn't lead the league in rushing for a second straight year might suggest that McCoy experienced some kind of significant dropoff in production.
When a rusher lead the league in rushing attempts, some semblance of a dropoff is expected in the following season. It happens to all running backs, no matter the caliber of the back.
But to suggest that McCoy experienced a significant setback would be inaccurate. If anything, it seems that McCoy exceeded expectations, at least statistically.
In the nine years before McCoy led the league in rushes last season, the running backs who led the league in rushing attempts averaged 1,637 yards per season. Last year, McCoy ran for 1,607 yards, just 90 feet off the pace.
But in the year following those nine seasons, those same running backs averaged just 910.8 yards per season, a dropoff of 726 yards. Instead, McCoy ran for 1,319 yards this season, a dropoff of just 288 yards, 438 yards better than the 10-year average.
Statistically speaking, McCoy came back from a work-heavy season and was able to still produce at a high rate, a rate that has him going to his second straight Pro Bowl.
And never short on confidence - not cockiness, just confidence - McCoy reflected on this year, and this year in perspective of his entire career, after the game.
"My six years here have been excellent," McCoy said. "I've been very, very, very, very productive here."
And if his ability to keep producing in the face of statistics that say otherwise and with huge payloads on his docket says anything, it certainly seems that McCoy will be back again next year, ready to rack up the yards once again.