Since his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009, running back LeSean McCoy has established himself as one of the league’s premier ball carriers. But just how good has he been compared to the rest of the league’s running backs? How has he fared for the Eagles in contrast to the Bills? Take a look below for a breakdown by the numbers.
The graph above compares Shady’s yards per attempt by season compared to the rest of the NFL’s running backs since 2009. The data gathered from NFL.com was sorted from most to least yards per attempt for the top 50 backs and then filtered for those who had less than 85 attempts. The remaining backs’ yards per attempt were then averaged to produce a single data point.
The data shows that Shady has been above the league average 4 times, once with the Bills and 3 times with the Eagles, while he was below it 5 times, twice with Buffalo and 3 times with Philadelphia. Technically, this graph shows the average of the league’s elite, so being above that 4 times in his career is quite the impressive feat.
Next, we’ll take a look at McCoy’s usage per season.
It’s no surprise that Shady’s rush attempts per game are trending upwards as he continues to establish himself as one of the league’s top backs. The two graphs point to his 2013 and 2016 campaigns as arguably his best in terms of rushing as he was well above the league average in yards per attempt while still having a big workload. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2013 and was voted to the Pro-Bowl in both seasons.
It should be concerning for Bills fans that his most recent season with Buffalo was one of his highest in terms of carries but his lowest for yards per attempt. This is obviously a result of the Bills’ dismal passing game, but it’s going to be even harder for him this year given the loss of three key guys on the offensive line, a weak receiving core, and question marks at quarterback. McCoy is also not getting any younger as he turns 30 in July.
Lastly, has LeSean McCoy been better for the Bills or Eagles?
The above data was gathered from Pro-Football Reference and shows the Bills have used Shady more heavily than the Eagles but suggests he has been slightly more effective for them with the exception of rush yards per attempt and fumbles per game. However, there are only minor variations for each category between teams so it appears he has been quite consistent throughout his career.
There’s no doubt he has been one of the best backs in the league as he has been voted to six Pro-Bowls (3 with Philadelphia and 3 with Buffalo) and has made first-team All-Pro twice, both with the Eagles. But is this production sustainable for the 30-year-old back? Buffalo better hope the uncertainties at quarterback pan out and that the addition of Chris Ivory can lighten Shady’s load in the upcoming season.