At 28 years old, there’s an increasingly believed thought that Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is bound to reach the proverbial beginning of the end of his career in 2016.
While McCoy wasn’t an All Pro in his debut season in Western New York, I thought he was, quite easily, the most naturally gifted runner the Bills have had since Thurman Thomas.
His film from a season ago features many plays in which he was either tackled before or at the line of scrimmage, yet it’s also rife with classic McCoy runs, special scampers that elicited previously unattainable comparisons of Barry Sanders-esque elusiveness.
Jeff Hunter completed a fantastic research project on the recent history of elite-level RBs and what it all indicates about McCoy’s upcoming season.
His general findings were, for the NFL’s best backs, 28 was far from "the end."
But because of the general consensus that McCoy is well into his decline due to him being banged up, not eclipsing 1,000 yards on the ground nor scoring double digit touchdowns last year which followed a disappointing final campaign in Philadelphia, I wanted to add a chart that says he’s not in a decline at all.
(Which, to me, aligns with his most recent film.)
|Year||Total Touches||Total Yards||Yards Per Touch|
Yes, McCoy’s per-touch efficiency was the same with the Bills in 2015 as it was with the Eagles in 2011, when he earned first-team All Pro honors.
He received nearly 100 more touches in 2011 than 2015 and scored 20 touchdowns that year compared to just five in his first season with the Bills, but his red zone opportunity figures were strikingly different.
In his first All-Pro season, McCoy got 31 rushing attempts inside the 10 yard line, and 18 (!!!) inside the 5 yard line.
In his first season with Buffalo, he was given the football nine times inside the 10 and on just four occasions inside the 5.
Jeff’s historical study suggests the Bills feature back can thrive in 2016. And after what was a clear regression in 2014, while he’s undoubtedly past his prime, McCoy’s 2015 performance argues his arrow is actually pointing skyward.