We’re tired of writing about it and you’re tired of reading it, but spare us one final time as we force-feed yet another indicator that the NFL is becoming a faster, more offensive-minded league.
Maybe you’ve noticed, but quite a few teams went no huddle during Week 1 games, and not just the Patriots, Saints and Packers, three teams who generally like to operate at the line of scrimmage. The Ravens, Broncos and Falcons also utilized lots of no huddle, in addition to a handful of other teams.
All told, 14 percent of plays last week were ran without a huddle.
From the Wall Street Journal:
It’s not just that these teams avoid the huddle, they’re determined to eliminate any extra time between snaps. During no-huddle drives, players will throw the ball to the referee immediately after being tackled, then sprint back to the line of scrimmage to get set. Plays can be communicated by the quarterback by shouting one word, and there are almost never substitutions. Last week, 14% of NFL plays were run without a huddle, an increase of 56% from last season and 100% from five seasons ago.
The numbers from last year to this year are partially inflated due to Manning’s presence, but it’s inarguable that more and more teams are trying to ramp up their pace of play. As ESPN’s Jon Gruden noted during Monday’s Ravens-Bengals broadcast, there are several advantages of employing a no-huddle attack:
- More plays, more touches, more yards.
- Limit defensive substitutions and communication.
- Regulate the defense.
- Change tempo of the offense.
- Optimum plays.
Totals are higher than ever before and there’s still some question as to whether or not they’re inflated.
But as we’ve said before—and will likely continue to repeat—the speed of the game, the rules adjustments, the emphasis on the passing game, etc., is likely to keep scores higher than we’ve ever seen.