LeSean McCoy is learning to understand that being the NFL's leading rusher comes with a price.
The All-Pro running back has gained 733 yards on the ground this season. No other rusher in the league has cracked the 650-yard mark. He's averaging a gaudy 4.7 yards per carry, which ranks tied for third among all qualifying running backs in the NFL.
However, McCoy has not been able to get on track in the past two games. In pivotal matchups against division rivals Dallas and New York, McCoy had 103 yards on 33 carries and no touchdowns. The offense, overall, has not scored a touchdown in the last eight quarters of action.
"I think that the main focus when you try and stop this team, especially the offense, is you want to stop the run," McCoy said. "That's kind of the main goal of a lot of defenses. Teams are coming in here and trying to stop the run. They look at the passing game as secondary.
"We've got to get the run game going. We've got to."
That might be easier said than done this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Oakland boasts the league's sixth-best rushing defense and they have not allowed an individual 100-yard rusher all year. In fact, the longest run that they've given up was a 19-yard touchdown to Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the season opener. McCoy has three rushes for 20 or more yards in 2013.
"They seem to feed off each other and make plays off each other," McCoy said.
In the last four games, the Raiders have allowed just 76 rushing yards per game. Only the Carolina Panthers have been stingier against the run in that timeframe.
McCoy opened the year with 150 yards or more in two of the first three games (at Washington, Kansas City). In the other game, against San Diego, McCoy had over 150 yards from scrimmage as he netted a career-high 114 receiving yards.
The instant reaction to the dip in McCoy's numbers is that he has been impacted by the instability at the quarterback position. While that has been a factor, McCoy's last 100-yard game came at Tampa Bay with Nick Foles, who will start this Sunday, in the lineup.
"Nick will be fine. He looked good in practice. He'll be fine," McCoy said. "We look at Nick as a starter. We're just blessed to have two guys who can start on one team."
The biggest difference, McCoy noted, is how defenses game plan to stop him.
"There's more attention to really try to contain the backs, keep everything in front of them," McCoy said. "The backers are way more in to the line of scrimmage than usual. Everything just seems so cluttered, seems so packed. That's probably the biggest difference I've noticed."
There are still openings, but McCoy admitted that "he needs to trust" the blocking a little more.
"When the opportunity is granted, we've got to take it," McCoy said.
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