Discussion

Will Eagles' pace up injury risk?

More snaps usually means more hits, so can Eagles stay healthy?

Updated: September 13, 2013, 9:22 PM ET
By Scott Kacsmar | Football Outsiders

You know the commercial -- What's better: Faster or slower? In the NFL, this is the season where we're supposed to find out, with Philadelphia as the test drive. Chip Kelly's hyped (and hyper) offense debuted Monday night to the tune of 53 first-half offensive snaps and 21 first downs. No team since the 1998 Vikings (56) crammed in as many plays in before halftime.

And this is supposed to be the norm.

However, maybe the best stat from Monday night was this: In 243 games as head coach of the Eagles, including postseason games, Andy Reid never ran the ball more than 46 times. Not running out the clock with a huge lead, not just getting it over with from way behind. Never. It took Kelly just one game to hit 49 attempts.

Yes, the times they are a-changin'. But it is worth questioning if this kind of fast-paced, run-heavy offense is sustainable for a full season. This isn't all deep science. More plays come with more contact and tackling. More tackling leads to more injuries. Theoretically, if you have more plays in a season, you have more opportunities to get hurt.

So will this make the Eagles' offensive players more susceptible to injury? Can a system Kelly once ran with a huge college roster be sustained with a smaller, 53-man roster, and over the course of more games?

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