ALLEN PARK, Mich. — 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 qualifier.
“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.