Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles like to play a lot of snaps on offense and play them quickly.
The Carolina Panthers may not be used to the speed, but they’ve been tested on the endurance.
Of the five games this season, Carolina’s defense has had to play at least 70 snaps in three of them. The Saints ran 70, the Buccaneers ran 79 and the Texans racked up 86 plays.
Philadelphia totaled 78 plays in a Week 6 win against the Giants with its fast-paced offense, and last year the Eagles ran more plays per game (70.7) than any other team in the NFL.
But it’s how many plays they fit into a drive that is challenging for teams.
“I think the frequency might be (more challenging) in terms of the hurry up, but again we’re working on that,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Not quite their tempo but (the Panthers’ offense has) done it. We’re going to be ready, do the best we can and we’ll get it rolling.
“A lot of things that they do are fast. They move quickly. They try to get a lot of plays. But the bottom line is, you’ve got to be ready to play. They catch a lot of people not ready.”
That’s why communication is at a premium on Sunday night.
“That’s really what that tempo offense is meant to do is to see how well-conditioned you are,” Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly said. “I think we’re in pretty good shape right now. And communication – if they’re moving quick and everybody doesn’t get the play call, then everybody’s on a different page.
“But as long as we’re doing a good job communicating. If we’re getting the front aligned, if Thomas (Davis) and I are getting the guys in the back aligned and making sure they know what the call is, we’ll be all right. And we’ve got some guys in the back end that do a good job with that. (Safeties) Roman (Harper) and Kurt (Coleman) are great at talking and the defensive line is very receptive and they figure it out, too. So I think we’re going to be in a good spot.”