The Raiders will have their hands full with the Eagles offense this week. Chip Kelly has brought the up-tempo offense from his Oregon days to the Eagles. It may not be taking off like quite yet but if the Raiders aren't prepared to keep up, they could be left behind.
"[The Eagles] are pretty fast," Allen said Thursday. "They may be the fastest we may have seen as far as getting on the ball and running plays. That's part of what the philosophy of that offense is to get on the ball and run plays and try to get the defense in a situation where they're not aligned properly, they're not focused on what their keys are; they're just trying to get back to the line of scrimmage and get lined up. That's something that we've practiced a lot this week. We'll practice it again tomorrow and hopefully we'll be ready for it."
"If they're on the ball, it limits what you can do from a substitution package standpoint. Obviously, if they substitute, we have the ability to match. That's all part of what we have to prepare for, when can we get our subs on the field and when do we have to stick with the group that's out on the field. We have to have a plan to prepare for whatever package they put out there to start with in a series that we can potentially have to be in that package the whole series."
The defense has begun to jell over the past few games. The players have been executing Jason Tarver's scheme very well of late. That scheme seems like it would lend itself very well to the no-huddle because the ability to disguise coverages. But it's the experiences the Raiders have had this season that has prepared them more to face the Eagles.
"I don't know that the scheme is as big a factor as it just is that we've worked against a lot of teams that have gone the up-tempo offense so it's not the first time that we've seen it, although this team is a little more up-tempo than really any of the teams that we've seen. The key for us is to be able to get our communication down, to be able to get lined up, to know exactly what we're supposed to do in a fast manner so we can execute the calls that we've got going into the game."
Facing the Colts, Jaguars, and Broncos over the first three weeks gave the Raiders' defense an early test in facing the no-huddle. All three teams use it with regularity. The Raiders couldn't stop the Colts and Broncos from scoring but who can, really. The Eagles' offense isn't near on the same level as those teams, but are not to be taken lightly.
Getting Nick Foles rattled and confused will be the primary goal. It worked against the Chargers and Chiefs' offenses who both have veteran quarterbacks while Foles is in just his second year. But he has been efficient this season, throwing 6 touchdowns with no interceptions.
Running back LeSean McCoy is the NFL leading rusher with 733 yards and has three games over 100 yards. The Raiders are second in the league over the last four games and sixth in the league over the season while not allowing a single rusher over one hundred yards. He has also broken off three runs over 20 yards and the Raiders are the only team in the league not to allow a run over 20 yards.
Intriguing test for both teams.