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

no interceptions.

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

defensive line.

”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.

get rolling.

”Hard to be up-tempo if it’s one, two, three and punt,”

Schwartz said.

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

avoided turnovers.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org