After five games of fits and starts and changing direction and trying to find something out of, well, mostly nothing, running back LeSean McCoy broke loose on Sunday night against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field in the Eagles' 27-0 victory.
McCoy ran for 149 yards on 22 carries, contributing gains of 12 and 18 yards on the Eagles' opening field goal drive and not slowing down in his best performance of the season. McCoy had gains of 28 yards, three gains of 18 yards and a 15-yard gain among his 149 yards.
And as the Eagles gashed the Giants with the running game early, everything else opened up for the offense in its most complete performance of the season.
"There were tons of running lanes, there were tons of guys open in the passing game," said McCoy.
For the first time in his career, McCoy faced some questions five games into the season, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry and gaining 273 rushing yards. He heard it because, really, he had no choice. McCoy was asked about his lack of production every time he met the media, so to quiet the critics on Sunday night meant a little something.
"I like it like that," said McCoy, "because you really know who is really behind you. For people to kind of criticize myself, and the running game, I mean, we were 4-1 coming into the game. Now we're 5-1. I never lost confidence in myself or the guys up front. You guys did. The people out there did. I've got thick skin. I'm here to play ball. The thing that really blows me away is, if we weren't that good as a running team, then why does every team come and stack the box (to stop the run)?"
Instead of loading the box on Sunday night, McCoy said, the Giants played a lot of two-high safety rather than bringing a safety closer to the line of scrimmage to stop the running game. It created a favorable numbers situation for the Eagles, who took full advantage and ran for 203 yards on the night.
"They paid for it," said McCoy. "When they tried to move the safety down, it was too late. We were in our groove and we had running lanes. Chip did a great job calling the plays. As a running back you feel great. You can get in a groove and pick them apart."
It was McCoy's first plus-100-yard game of the season, thanks in large part to an offensive line that had its starting five together for a second straight week. Right tackle Lane Johnson was outstanding leading the way in the running game.
And McCoy was better, too. He took what the defense gave him. When nothing was there, he played it safe.
"I feel like I made good decisions. I took the most I could get," said McCoy. "There were some plays where I felt like I left some yards out there in the open field. That's what I do best."
On this night, McCoy took enough for the Eagles offense to play with balance and precision and win its fifth game in six weeks. That was plenty good enough for him and the team.
"We're 5-1 and that's what I'm here to talk about," said McCoy. "That's what matters."