Buffalo Bills: LeSean McCoy primed for a special season?


After an impressive start to the 2017 campaign, can LeSean McCoy inspire the Buffalo Bills to end their postseason drought?

Whether you support the Buffalo Bills or not, most NFL fans appreciate how talented LeSean McCoy is. Certainly, when you’re being compared to Barry Sanders as a runner or Marshall Faulk as a dual-threat, this gives you some indication of his skill level.

In that respect, McCoy’s performance on Sunday against the New York Jets was not unexpected. He finished the afternoon with 110 yards on the ground, at an impressive average of 5.0 yards per carry and this was despite the Jets’ focused on stopping him.

In addition, the five-time Pro Bowler added another 49 yards through the air, on a team-high five catches. By the end of the afternoon, he’d become just the sixth active player (and 60th overall in NFL history) to surpass 12,000 career yards from scrimmage.

Of course, McCoy and the Buffalo Bills are going to face much harder challenges this season, compared to the New York Jets. However, the question still remains as to how much he can influence the team, as they look to end the longest current postseason drought in the NFL?

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If we’re being honest, it’s going to be tough. Just last season, the two-time First-team All-Pro averaged over 100 offensive yards per game, but it wasn’t enough to inspire the Bills to more wins.

This doesn’t mean McCoy can’t rally the troops, but it will take more than performances like the one he gave against the Jets. It will be equally important for him to stay healthy.

After missing four games in 2015, the 29-year-old was absent for just one last season. And yet that doesn’t represent a true picture, with the running back missing playing time at certain points during the 15 games he did suit up for.

In that respect, Buffalo Bills fans — and the team — were given a scare on Sunday, when McCoy had to come out of the game near the Jets’ goal line. Speaking to ESPN‘s Scott Van Pelt, he said:

"“I landed funny on my hand and (it) went numb. I didn’t want to be selfish and try to get a touchdown with a numb hand, as anything can happen.”"

Of course, we now know McCoy was fine, but the incident provided a reminder of what could happen. And yet, don’t expect the Bills’ to limit his workload in an effort to protect him against injury.

As reported by ESPN‘s Mike Rodak, offensive coordinator Rick Dennison admitted he wasn’t counting how many carries McCoy had against the Jets. As far as Dennison is concerned, he’s going to “let it all work itself out”, in respect of his star runner’s touches this season.

Overall, certain moves/trades made ahead of the 2017 campaign, seem to indicate the Bills are not fully focused on making the playoffs this season. It doesn’t help that they face the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons in their next three games.

And yet nothing is impossible, especially if McCoy can remain healthy and continue to perform like he did in Week 1. Essentially though, we’ll have a pretty clear indication of where this season is headed for both player and team, three weeks from now.

Next: Time for Tyrod Taylor to raise his game

What kind of season are you predicting for McCoy? Will he stay healthy enough, to provide the Buffalo Bills with a chance at a playoff spot? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.