Eagles running back LeSean McCoy says that he, not Adrian Peterson, is the best running back in the NFL.
“My brother always rips me all the time, trying to make me play harder. I say, ‘I’m the best,’ and he’ll say, ‘Did Adrian Peterson retire?’ I look at the last three years and everything. I think AP has been the best back for so long, and he’s been doing it for so long, that’s why he automatically gets the best running back [title],” McCoy said on ESPN. “But the last three years? I’ve been All-Pro, first-team, twice. I never leave the field. I block. I catch. I never leave the field. I don’t have anybody do my job; I do it myself. Tons of credit goes out to Adrian Peterson. I’m a big fan of his, for sure. But I feel I’m the best.”
McCoy is correct that he’s been first-team All-Pro two of the last three years, while Peterson has only been first-team All-Pro once in the last three years. He’s also correct that he’s on the field more than Peterson: According to the snap counts at Football Outsiders, McCoy played 79.1 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps last season, while Peterson played 64.7 percent of the Vikings’ offensive snaps. So although McCoy’s claim that he “never” leaves the field is an overstatement, he does have a point there.
Of course, it’s easier to be productive in the Eagles’ offense than it is in the Vikings’ offense. Does anyone really doubt that Peterson would have put up big numbers if he were on the Eagles last year? And does anyone seriously believe that McCoy would have had anything close to the numbers he had last year if he were playing in an offense that had Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman at quarterback?
What McCoy really seems to be saying is that he produces more in Philadelphia than Peterson produces in Minnesota. That doesn’t necessarily mean McCoy is the better player.