PHILADELPHIA — LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson are quite the dynamic duo.
Both players are thriving in Chip Kelly’s offence, helping the Philadelphia Eagles put up prolific numbers through two games.
McCoy leads the NFL with 237 yards rushing and Jackson is first with 297 yards receiving. Together, they’ve combined for more yards (653) than nine different teams.
"With the type of offence we have I don’t think moving the ball is an issue," McCoy said.
McCoy, a 2011 All-Pro, ran for 184 yards in a win over Washington in Week 1. He was held to 53 in a loss to the Chargers on Sunday, but he caught five passes for a career-best 114 yards. Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, followed up a 104-yard performance in the opener with 197 yards receiving vs. San Diego.
The Chargers focused on stopping the run, so the Eagles turned to their air attack. Michael Vick threw for a career-high 428 yards in a 33-30 loss.
"Teams have to pick and choose their poison," Jackson said Tuesday. "We have great balance. If they want to take something from us, we always have another option. Coming into each game, we really don’t know how any team is going to play us. We watch film and things like that, but the majority of the time when we go into a game, things kind of change up. Teams like to do different things to us because of McCoy, myself and Vick. We’re prepared, we watch film, and we know what their tendencies are."
McCoy showed off his versatility by coming out of the backfield to make big catches, giving defences more to worry about. McCoy creates matchup problems as a receiver, so that’s just another option for Kelly to use in his fast-paced offence.
"I think when you try to take me out of the game, you think of running, but I can be effective in the passing game," McCoy said. "We try to give me a one-on-one matchup with anybody from a safety to a linebacker. I think this offence is amazing, so many different ways to get playmakers in space so we are going to see a lot of different things this year."
After a dismal season last year when the Eagles finished 4-12, McCoy and Jackson seem rejuvenated in Kelly’s system. There’s no telling what they’ll do if they stay healthy and get more experience in Kelly’s offence. After all, it’s only two games in and there’s room for improvement.
"I think we can go a little faster," McCoy said. "I think we can convert a little better. I think sometimes we get those phases in the game no matter if it’s earlier or late, where we kind of move the ball but then don’t get any points. Once we get past that, I think we’ll be fine."
Jackson had a 61-yard touchdown catch against the Chargers, but was open on three other deep balls. Vick overthrew one, Jackson let one bounce off his fingers and caught one out of bounds. If they connected on any of those three, the Eagles could be 2-0 instead of 1-1.
"You miss one, you hit one," Vick said. "We had one that was close, but you just have to keep firing until you get one. You are not going to hit them all. We wish we could. Next week you may hit them all. It all depends."
The Eagles face former coach Andy Reid and the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) on Thursday night. The Chiefs already have matched their win total from 2012 and will be looking to win a game that’s significant to their new coach.
Defensive co-ordinator Bob Sutton obviously has to devise a plan to stop Philadelphia’s high-powered offence. Will he try San Diego’s approach?
"How do you stop the Eagles offence?" McCoy said. "What do you want to do? Do you want to try to stack the box and completely take away the running game out of the game? That happens and (we) wind up with 400 yards passing."
It’ll be a conundrum for opponents all year.