Up-tempo Eagles next test for Suh, Lions
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz offered one obvious antidote to
Philadelphia’s fast-paced offense, which his Lions will try to
contain this weekend.
”Three and out,” Schwartz said, before adding the obvious
”That’s easier said than done.”
After a dominating performance on Thanksgiving against Green
Bay, the Detroit defense heads to Philadelphia to face the Eagles
on Sunday. Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy has already rushed for 1,088
yards this season, and Nick Foles has thrown for 19 touchdowns with
The Eagles’ up-tempo, no-huddle offense is designed to put
pressure on the opposing team. It could be a particularly big test
for Detroit, which has built its defense around a powerful
”I look forward to it,” defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said.
”Substitutions may be a little bit of an issue, but I don’t think
it’s going to affect us at all. … We have seen teams that like to
do it. Pittsburgh did a little bit of it as our last more recent
experience against a really fast and up-tempo type team.”
Suh and the rest of Detroit’s defensive line looked terrific
against the Packers, leading the Lions to a 40-10 win last Thursday
that might not have been as close as the score indicated. Detroit
(7-5) leads the NFC North, while the Eagles (7-5) are tied with
Dallas atop the NFC East.
So this matchup offers major playoff implications – in addition
to the intriguing contrast of speed against strength.
”Obviously very, very physical, starting with the defensive
line,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. ”Right at the point of
attack they can create obviously a lot of disruption.”
Once the Eagles find a rhythm offensively, they seem to become
even harder to stop because of their pace. Obviously, the Lions
will hope to end Philadelphia’s drives before McCoy, Foles and Co.
”Hard to be up-tempo if it’s one, two, three and punt,”
The problem: The Eagles have gone three and out on only 18
percent of their drives, the fourth-best mark in the NFL.
”We’re going to have our hands full. They have a great running
back, so first and foremost we have to stop the run. That’s
something that we always want to do no matter who we are facing,”
Suh said. ”Then obviously we see that they have given up some
sacks and we want to be able to have an opportunity to do
Philadelphia has been sacked 35 times, but whatever pressure
opposing defenses have managed doesn’t seem to be forcing Foles
into very many mistakes. Foles has a passer rating of 125.2, easily
the league’s best mark.
”They run the same stuff that they ran with Michael Vick at
quarterback,” Schwartz said. ”Foles is a different kind of
quarterback in there, but that hasn’t stopped them from running
anything that they ran early in the season with Michael Vick. They
have executed their offense well. They have run the ball and
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