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LeSean McCoy was the NFL's second-most productive runner in Week 1 against the Jets. He carried the football 12 times for nine yards in the Buffalo Bills' loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.
So what happened in the second game of the season?
Much of that answer can be explained through advanced stats pertaining to Buffalo's offensive line. I touched on individual grades from the Panthers game earlier today.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
Against Carolina, McCoy was credited with 16 yards after contact despite having nine total yards. What that means is -7 of his yards came before contact. Yes, minus seven yards. Woof.
Heading into the third week of the regular season, 49 running backs have taken at least 25 percent of their respective teams' snaps. Of those runners, 15 have averaged more yards before contact than McCoy.
McCoy currently averages 1.76 yards before contact per rush and 1.7 yards after contact.
However the run-blocking issues Buffalo's front has experienced in front of McCoy aren't isolated Bills problems.
Of those 49 aforementioned running backs, only nine of them average more yards before contact than yards after contact, so clearly the majority of the league has had disappointing run-blocking performances thus far.
Yards before contact numbers aren't solely on the lines either. A back's ability to make the first defender miss should be considered as well. But in this particular case, regarding McCoy's Week 2 game against the Panthers, when you finish a game with -7 yards before contact, it paints a pretty clear picture of offensive-line struggles.
On his 43 touches to begin the 2017 season. McCoy has forced seven missed tackles. Through two games in 2016, he'd touched the football 39 times and forced five missed tackles.