Kiko Alonso for Lesean Mccoy. A “legend” for a LEGEND.
There have been several juicy story-lines forming going into the match-up between the Bills and Eagles. Most of them focus around the relationship between Lesean Mccoy and Chip Kelly. But not many people have been talking about how former Bills “legend” Kiko Alonso is also playing against his old team. A team that gave up on him and sent him packing….
In early March 2015, a blockbuster trade was made between the Bills and Eagles. Lesean Mccoy for Kiko Alonso. Many fans were upset with this trade as Kiko was a dominant force at linebacker his rookie season.
Alonso had a total of 22 tackles (9 solo) this game versus the Bengals. He was everywhere.
I have to admit I was one of them. Kiko had one of the best rookie seasons as a linebacker for the Bills. In 16 games Alonso had 159 tackles 87 of them solo along with 4 interceptions. Those numbers are great for any linebacker, let alone a rookie. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Kiko had the 7th most stops (39) tied with Luke Kuechly and was 4th in QB hits that year.
He was tremendous in pass coverage. He led the league in interceptions for all inside linebackers and was one of the least targeted linebackers in the league. Opposing QBs had ratings of 74 when they targeted him in coverage, that was 4th lowest rating at his position.
Look at how he trusted his eyes here. This was his first regular season game. He used his hands to shed the center and threw his body at the runner.
One of his best attributes; his pursuit skills. When you turn film on of Kiko, he just jumps out at you. Just like he did here when the Panthers tried throwing a screen to Tolbert.
After a phenomenal 2013 season, Bills fans could not wait for the legend of Kiko Alonso to return in 2014..Video courtesy of Disney/ESPN.
Unfortunately, during offseason training, Kiko tore his ACL while training in Oregon. Kiko worked hard to recover from his knee surgery and in 2015 he looked ready, but the Bills had other plans.
They made a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles to trade Kiko straight up for Lesean Mccoy.
Its now week 14 of the 2015 NFL season. If you were to ask any fan who won that trade? Most would say the Bills. Mccoy has been the catalyst for an offense that was expected to struggle most of the year. The Bills defense was suppose to be one of the leagues’ best, but Mccoy and the offense have been leading the team.
Kiko injured his knee again this year and it cost him 5 games. In the 7 games Alonso has 21 tackles 14 being solo and 1 int. Those numbers are not even close to his rookie production. In last weeks match-up vs Patriots, they attacked Kiko in the pass game 11 times. They were extremely successful. Brady completed 9 balls for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Have injuries hindered his development? Is he the same player? Expect to see Shady matched up vs. Kiko….
There are many story-lines going into this Sunday’s match-up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills. The NFC East division race, the Wild card race for Buffalo, Shady and Chip Kelly’s feud and even the drama surrounding DeMarco Murray. But not once have I heard about Kiko Alonso. You know that Kiko Alonso is just as emotional as Shady about this game. Bills fans know, that Kiko Alonso will be prepared and he will be flashing all over field come Sunday afternoon.
As much as we loved Kiko, Shady Mccoy is our guy now. The aspirations and hopes of a playoff appearance rest on his legs. So, sorry Kiko, come Monday morning your story will still be on the back page….