TD redeems Eagles' McCoy
CHICAGO - There are always opportunities for redemption in the NFL. Sometimes they don't come for a game, for weeks or maybe even months.
CHICAGO - There are always opportunities for redemption in the NFL.
Sometimes they don't come for a game, for weeks or maybe even months.
LeSean McCoy failed and redeemed himself all in one quarter as the Eagles rallied to beat the Bears, 24-20, last night at Soldier Field.
The Eagles running back scored the winning touchdown when he scooted around the left corner for 10 yards with 5 minutes, 38 seconds left in the game. The rookie took a bow and ran off to field to celebrate with his teammates.
"Jason Peters got an excellent block to spring me free," McCoy said. "I took it outside, broke a tackle, and saw the end zone. . . . It worked out at the right time."
Only moments earlier, McCoy was the goat. He fumbled - for the third time this season - with 12:48 to go and the Eagles trailing, 20-17. McCoy ran for 17 yards, but Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer swatted the ball loose from behind, and the running back could not hold on. Hillenmeyer recovered the football on the Eagles' 37-yard line.
But the Eagles defense, which came up with stop after stop, did not allow a first down and the Bears were once again forced to attempt a field goal. Robbie Gould, who was 4 of 4 previously, tried a 48-yarder, but Eagles defensive tackle Antonio Dixon broke through the middle and blocked the kick.
The Eagles had life again and McCoy had his chance to make up for his mistake. The coaches went right back to the rookie - a wise move, in retrospect - and handed off on first down. McCoy gained 4 yards. He picked up another 3 yards several plays later as quarterback Donovan McNabb and the offense drove down the field for the winning score.
But his real shot at reversing what might have been a long flight back to Philadelphia occurred on a first-and-goal play on the Bears' 10. McCoy took the handoff, ran left, broke through one tackle, and danced into the end zone.
It was his third touchdown of the season. But it was the most important one, pushing the Eagles, who had lost two straight, to a 6-4 record.
McCoy missed his chance at topping 100 yards on the ground for the first time, finishing with 99 yards on 20 carries. Last night he earned his fourth start this season, but it may become a regular role with Brian Westbrook injured.
Westbrook suffered his second concussion in 20 days last week at San Diego and has been shelved for at least three games. There is ample reason to believe that he may not play the rest of this season. Some fear that his career is over.
If is it, McCoy appears ready to take over. The 21-year-old has a lot to learn - such as covering up the football with two hands on long runs - as Eagles coach Andy Reid reminded reporters Friday. But McCoy - "Shady" to almost everyone - has made strides 10 games into the season.
"He is a young guy," Reid said. "With LeSean, a couple of things helped him. No. 1 was, the reps that he was able to take in training camp - and then, two was having Brian around to communicate with him. . . . We've seen strides every week. He keeps getting better and better and more comfortable."