Eagles RB LeSean McCoy led the NFL with 314 carries last season, which began with him carrying the ball 31 times in the opener at Washington. Against Jacksonville this year, McCoy ran the ball 21 times for 74 yards. He also had six catches for 41 yards.
Overall, McCoy played 58 of the Eagles’ 87 offensive plays, or 67 percent. Darren Sproles was on the field for 33 offensive plays plus eight special teams plays. Sproles carried the ball 11 times for 71 yards and caught four passes for 14 yards.
Last year with the Saints, Sproles never carried the ball more than eight times in a game. When the Eagles acquired Sproles in a trade in March, coach Chip Kelly stressed that he viewed Sproles as a running back rather than a pass catcher.
“I think he’s an outstanding running back,” Kelly said. “He proved it [Sunday] and it’s nothing he hadn’t proved from the first two or three days we saw him out here in the offseason program. He’s really, really talented. You’ve got to find ways to get the football in his hands.”
The story points out that Kelly used Sproles and McCoy on the field together sparingly, but that was because of the Jaguars’ defensive response. If the Jaguars played more man-to-man defense, the Eagles might have used the two backs together more often. Sproles was more effective as a runner especially during their second half comeback. A big part of Sproles' yards came on the TD run, but keep in it was a fourth down play where the Eagles rushed to the line with little response from the Jags tired defense. Still, Sproles looks like he's going to get some rushes among his catches and punt returns, which could give him some value in typical PPR leagues rather than just deep ones.