LeSean Report: Dynamic on outside runs, impressive efficiency as receiver - The Buffalo News
print logo

LeSean Report: Dynamic on outside runs, impressive efficiency as receiver

It was a dazzling opener for LeSean McCoy. He had 110 yards rushing and added another 49 as a receiver in the Bills' 21-12 victory over the Jets on Sunday.

McCoy is currently second leaguewide in rushing, behind only Kareem Hunt after Week One.

Let's take a closer look at his performance in the game in which he became the 37th running back in NFL history to eclipse 12,000 yards from scrimmage in his career.

(Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.)

Rushing: Advanced stats review

McCoy is tied with Ezekiel Elliot as Pro Football Focus' fifth-highest graded running back.

While easy to overlook, McCoy earned the fifth-highest pass-blocking grade among runners. He didn't allow a quarterback pressure (sack, hit, or hurry) on five pass-blocking snaps against the Jets. Why's that important? A season ago, he was a huge liability in pass protection, grading as the worst pass-protecting back in football.

On either side of Eric Wood in Week One, Buffalo's offensive line and McCoy had issues. He had eight carries for only 21 yards on those "middle" rushes. From right guard John Miller to the outside shoulder of right tackle Jordan Mills, McCoy didn't have much success either. He carried it nine times for 12 yards.

However, between Richie Incognito and a mix of Cordy Glenn and Dion Dawkins at left tackle, along with two runs well outside the tackle box, Buffalo's feature back gashed the Jets to the tune of 57 yards on just five carries.

Also, McCoy leads the NFL with three rushes of 15 or more yards. Dalvin Cook and Tarik Cohen were the only other backs who had two such runs in Week One.

Stats Wizard: Some numbers, milestones from Bills victory over Jets

Receiving: Advanced stats review

Among 31 qualifying running backs, McCoy currently has the 12th-best yards-per-route-run figure of 2.23.

PFF's yards per route run is an advanced stat that simply divides the amount of times a player ran a route by the amount of yards he gained as a receiver. It's the ultimate efficiency metric.

McCoy went out for a pass 22 times against the Jets and totaled 49 yards. The sample sizes are obviously considerably different, but in 2016, his yards-per-route-run number was 1.39, good for 18th in the NFL among 43 qualifying backs. Buffalo wants to incorporate more of McCoy into the passing game this season. That plan got off to a good start Sunday.

Kimberley A. Martin: LeSean McCoy dances and prances right through the Jets

Looking ahead

McCoy looked explosive against a stingy run defense to begin his 2017 campaign. He'll face another good one in Week Two, as the Bills ground attack will square off against the Carolina Panthers defense, a group that allowed 3.4 yards per carry against the 49ers to begin the season.

Not counting running back Carlos Hyde, San Francisco had six primary blockers grade negatively against Carolina.

The 49ers backs were relatively productive as receivers out of the backfield, though. Hyde had six receptions for 32 yards and fullback Kyle Juszczyk recorded two catches for 17 yards.

Story topics:

There are no comments - be the first to comment