Saturday, December 16, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Time not on Chip Kelly's side

For the third time in Chip Kelly's three NFL seasons, the Eagles are last in the league in time of possession, which doesn't bother the coach very much at all.

"Time of possession is how much time can the other team waste," Kelly said, defending an uptempo offense that has become better known for its number of plays than number of points in this third season.

The Eagles have the ball an average of 26 minutes and 52 seconds (out of 60) this season, which reflects not only a hurry to get back to the line of scrimmage, making it harder for defenses to substitute, but also some pronounced struggles on third downs.

Philadelphia ranks 29th in third-down conversions, getting just 32 percent — of the three teams worse, two (Miami and Tennessee) have already fired their coaches.

It's a potential advantage the Bucs haven't had often under Lovie Smith — they've topped 33 minutes in time of possession just once in his 25 games, with 34:41 in this year's win against the Jaguars.

Statistically, a major edge in time of possession translates well to winning — NFL teams possessing the ball at least 34 minutes in a game win 70 percent of the time this season.

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