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Could LeSean McCoy reclaim the NFL rushing title?

If he does, it will be the second time McCoy does it in his career

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is entering his 10th NFL season at 30 years old. Last season, he didn't show many signs of slowing down and was consistently the best offensive player on the field for the Bills. Over the course of his career, McCoy was in the top five in rushing yards on the season four different times, including taking the NFL rushing title in 2013 with the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2017, McCoy ran for 1,138 yards and finished fourth in the league.

Can McCoy take back the rushing title and lead the NFL in rushing yards?

After firing offensive coordinator Rick Dennison due to a dreadful year on offense, the Bills hired Brian Daboll, who will take the Bills back to their bread and butter with a power run scheme instead of Dennison’s zone scheme. Although McCoy had more yards in 2017 than he did in 2016, his most recent year under a power based scheme, his yards per carry average dropped from 5.4 in 2016 to a career-worst 4.0 in 2017.

The loss of Richie Incognito and Eric Wood isn't the best-case scenario for the offense, and there is expected to be some shuffling along the offensive line. The reemergence of John Miller, the expected second-year improvement of Dion Dawkins, and the free agent additions of center Russell Bodine and tackle Marshall Newhouse will ideally make the transition to new lineups on the offensive line easier. Daboll has his hands full in finding a combination of the starting five that will succeed on a week-to-week basis but it can be done.

The short answer to the question is yes, with uncertainty around the quarterback position, the Bills will likely rely heavily on the run game much like they did last year, and going back to a power run scheme should only help the offensive line and McCoy.

Here is a look to how McCoy has fared against the rushing leaders each year since he entered the NFL in 2009:

NFL yearly rushing leaders stats vs. LeSean McCoy stats

Year Leader Team Yards Attempts Yards per rush Player Team Yards Attempts Yards per rush
Year Leader Team Yards Attempts Yards per rush Player Team Yards Attempts Yards per rush
2017 Kareem Hunt Chiefs 1327 272 4.9 LeSean McCoy Bills 1138 287 4
2016 Ezekiel Elliot Cowboys 1631 322 5.1 LeSean McCoy Bills 1267 234 5.4
2015 Adrian Peterson Vikings 1485 327 4.5 LeSean McCoy Bills 895 203 4.4
2014 DeMarco Murray Cowboys 1845 392 4.7 LeSean McCoy Eagles 1319 312 4.2
2013 LeSean McCoy Eagles 1607 314 5.1 LeSean McCoy Eagles 1607 314 5.1
2012 Adrian Peterson Vikings 2097 348 6 LeSean McCoy Eagles 840 200 4.2
2011 Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars 1606 343 4.7 LeSean McCoy Eagles 1309 273 4.8
2010 Arian Foster Texans 1616 327 4.9 LeSean McCoy Eagles 1080 207 5.2
2009 Chris Johnson Titans 2006 358 5.6 LeSean McCoy Eagles 637 155 4.1