PHLADELPHIA - The Eagles' offense has been taking its time this season.
Despite the presense of playmakers such as quarterback Michael Vick, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and running back LeSean McCoy, the Eagles haven't generated many big plays this season.
The NFL defines big plays as those that gain 20 yards or more from scrimmage. The Eagles enter Sunday's game with Detroit having produced 23 of them in five games - 18 passes and five runs - to rank tied for sixth in the league.
"Sixth isn't bad," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Thursday. "We've had our share of big plays, but not as many as I want. We're usually in the top three, four or five in that category. We're used to having big plays and we're used to scoring some touchdowns on those big plays."
Since the start of the 2010 season, the Eagles have posted a league-high 187 big plays, eight more than the New York Giants and San Diego. The Eagles' 817 big plays since 2000 are also tops in the league.
Conversely, they have had 11 offensive drives of 10 plays or more this season, which is tied for fourth. Their longest drive occurred in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 16-14 loss at Pittsburgh, when Vick and company used 17 plays to move 79 yards. Vick's 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brent Celek gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead.
"Defenses are playing us a little different," Vick said. "They're giving us some things that we can take advantage of and at some point we'll get our shots down the field. We get one or two (opportunities) a game, but it hasn't been like it has in the past.
"We just want to put ourselves in a position to win the game. We don't want to leave any stones unturned, so sometimes we may take our chances in the first half and try to be as aggressive as we can to put points on the board. That's our philosophy. But they may not work and when they don't, we just take it back to basics and go out and execute the offense."
EXTRA POINTS: There is a chance Jackson could get some action as a punt returner Sunday. The Lions have given up a punt return and kickoff return for a touchdown in each of their last two games.
Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins came in from practice to see a bouquet of roses from his wife, Pashun, at his locker.
"It's not our anniversary or anything," Jenkins said. "She was just being thoughtful."
Defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole took photos and suggested the flowers were from the Lions' offensive line.
"Yeah, they were giving me a lot of flak for it," Jenkins said. "But I know it's not from the Lions. I had my share of run-ins with those guys over the years. They were probably glad when I left Green Bay."