The Eagles and Tempo

We all know the Eagles will run an up-tempo offense this year. Chase Stuart from Football Perspective did some research to look into the Eagles pace from this summer.

Go read the piece to see all the data he put together. Really good stuff. Here is his conclusion.

The Patriots ran nearly 1200 plays while operating the fastest offense in the NFL last year, but we can’t forget that they have a future Hall of Fame quarterback running the show. Part of running so many plays is having an efficient quarterback who can convert on third downs, traits that Michael Vick has never consistently displayed. Other factors involved in running a lot of plays are bad — Detroit had 1,160 plays last year, the second most in the league, despite an average pace in normal situations. But the Lions threw 295 incomplete passes and were in hurry-up mode on the 4th quarter of lots of games in 2012. The Eagles defense looks to be terrible, which might mean lots of plays in the fourth quarter, but it will also likely limit the number of plays the offense will get to run (unless the defense gives up a lot of short drives, the other team will be able to bleed the clock). Forcing three-and-outs on defense is a great way to get more plays, but that doesn’t seem in the cards for the Eagles in 2013.

On the other hand, it would be naive to think Kelly was showing us everything — or close to everything — in the preseason. And this neutered version of the Kelly offense, while not operating at an otherworldy pace we’ve never seen before, still operated at an extremely fast pace, one that would challenge the Patriots for the league lead. Kelly’s tempo is for real, but running 1200 plays involves more than tempo. It involves efficiency on both sides of the ball, which may not happen for Kelly until 2014.

Stuart is right that you must keep moving the chains in order for the offense to be successful. 3 and outs are going to kill your pace no matter how fast you try to go.

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