Fourth quarter hasn't been kind to Eagles

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2013 at 2:45 am •  Published: December 5, 2013
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Kelly still has the offense run without a huddle with a lead, but players stand at the line of scrimmage and let the clock run down before quarterback Nick Foles takes the snap. That allows the defense more time to rest, to see what the formations are and it changes the tempo.

"I think we're used to playing fast at times and then we're used to playing for us what is normal speed, being into a no-huddle operation," Shurmur said. "I think we effectively in a couple of times did a really good job of really slowing it down where we are in four-minute mode. The challenge for us is to be efficient no matter what we try, whatever pace we try to play at."

Then there's the obvious fact that opponents know the Eagles are likely going to run the ball to keep the clock ticking.

"I think what happens is everybody in the stadium knows you're going to run the ball, so they're playing zero coverage," Kelly said. "If you do throw it and it's incomplete, you stop the clock. If you run it, even if you don't gain a yard, you're still running 40 seconds off the clock. So there is kind of a catch-22 there. But people aren't playing the normal defenses they normally play in the first, second, and third quarter. They're putting an extra guy on the line of scrimmage.

"If you bring in an extra tight end, they're going to have two more than you, one for the quarterback and one for the extra player. That is a difficult situation to run the ball against. The answer is easy. Hey, throw it. If you throw it and it's incomplete, the clock stops.

"I'd like to be in that situation every week because that means we're up."

The Eagles, who are tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East, host the North-leading Detroit Lions (7-5) on Sunday.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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