Skip to main content

Pats focused on shutting down 'scary' LeSean McCoy

The Patriots' plan to scatter the Bills?

It starts with Tom Brady and a waterfall of weapons on offense, but coach Bill Belichick sees another hurdle: Shutting down Buffalo workhorse LeSean McCoy.

"A power running game with a back that can, literally, run the ball from sideline to sideline and make four guys miss in a phone booth," Belichick said, per "McCoy can take any play and turn it into a play that doesn't look like any other play you've seen before."

From a workload standpoint, McCoy operates as the beating heart of a Bills attack light on game-changing wideouts. Only Le'Veon Bell (33.3) and Todd Gurley (31.2) account for a higher percentage of their team's scrimmage yards than McCoy (30.5), who looms as just one of four players with 700 rushing and 250 receiving yards on the year.

Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty agrees with Belichick, right down to the somewhat tired phone booth analogy, saying: "I've been playing him since college where we had calls where you've got him in a phone booth and you come up with just his towel."

Said safety Duron Harmon: "Trying to tackle LeSean is scary in and of itself, the guy can be running this way and all of a sudden cut and he's going in completely the opposite. He's probably the most -- if not the most -- elusive [player] in the league."

Before we fear for New England's well-being, let's recall that their defense -- a subject of panic in September -- has allowed the fewest points per game since Week 5 (13.1), keeping every opponent to 17 points or less -- better than the fawned over Jaguars, Steelers, Ravens or Eagles.

McCoy is a hot-and-cold runner statistically this season, generating just three 100-yard outings with five games under 50 yards. On tape, he's still running hard and scorching teams with his quick-cutting jolts. He's a big part of the passing game, too, taking in lobs from Tyrod Taylor and barreling north with the ball held in hand like a loaf of bread.

McCoy still has it, but he'll need to be Superman and He-Man rolled into one to take down a Patriots team that has casually dismissed the Bills repeatedly since Brady was rolled out of the top-secret lab and delivered to Foxborough in 2001.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content