McCoy, Jackson struggle to get going

Posted: October 29, 2013

With ineffective quarterback play over the last two games, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are naturally frustrated at being contained.

For the second straight week, the Eagles failed to score an offensive touchdown in Sunday's 15-7 loss to the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field.

And even though opposing defenses are giving both players their undivided attention, McCoy and Jackson still expect to produce. They put a lot of pressure on themselves to make big plays, regardless of who is taking the snaps from center.

During last week's 17-3 loss to Dallas, Jackson had three receptions for 21 yards. McCoy gained 55 yards on 18 carries. He also caught six passes for 26 yards.

On Sunday, Jackson was targeted 11 times and had eight receptions for 63 yards. His longest catch went for 13 yards and he averaged just 7.9 yards per reception. This season Jackson is averaging 15 yards per reception.

McCoy rushed for 48 yards on 15 carries, with his longest run 9 yards. He also caught four passes for 18 yards.

"Coming into the game we want to establish the run, and teams know that," McCoy said. "It starts with me and I have to get out there and get it going."

Jackson felt the Eagles wasted a second straight solid week by the defense.

"As an offense, it's frustrating to leave our defense out there, when they are doing a great job," Jackson said. "Hopefully we can figure it out and come back, keep fighting."

It's difficult for both when the quarterback play is so poor. The combined passer rating by Nick Foles and Matt Barkley against Dallas was 31.8. It was improved but still poor against the Giants. Michael Vick and Barkley combined for a passer rating of 55.5.

To his credit, McCoy says that is not an excuse. He said that with the dire quarterback situation, he could be trying to do too much.

"I think it is a little bit of that, doing my own thing sometimes and just not making the plays," McCoy said. "The plays are there and are developing, I am just not getting it done."

The Eagles tried to take advantage of Jackson's big-play ability by using him as a punt returner, but even that didn't work out. One third-quarter potential return had him shaking his head. Steve Weatherford boomed a 68-yard punt that Jackson couldn't field. It went out of bounds at the Eagles 3-yard line.

"The punter punted it pretty far," Jackson said. "It was one of those things where he outkicked me, it was over my head and the wind took it."

One of the Giants' main priorities was stopping the running game and making the Eagles try to beat them in the air. That meant having plenty of pursuit when McCoy carried the ball and limiting his dangerous cutback ability.

"It's rare that just one guy tackled him," Giants lineman Justin Tuck said. "There were three to four guys around him in case he broke a tackle."

And like so many of the Eagles opponents, the Giants made a top priority of pursuing McCoy when he carried the ball and giving plenty of defensive attention to Jackson.

Both have torched the Giants in the past. In the Eagles' 36-21 win against the Giants on Oct. 6, Jackson had seven receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown. Four of McCoy's 15 career 100-yard rushing games have come against the Giants.

"They are focal points," Tuck said. "We understand to beat a team like that you have to take away focal points."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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