Column: Rams’ no-huddle offense should be kept for certain situations

Column: Rams’ no-huddle offense should be kept for certain situations

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Column: Rams’ no-huddle offense should be kept for certain situations

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by Scott Bierman / FootballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 20 at 1:26 PM

(FootballStL) -- The St. Louis Rams are not the same as Chip Kelly’s fast-paced Philadelphia Eagles, despite the success it had in the no-huddle offense against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The ‘no-huddle’ buzz has been stirring around the Rams after outscoring the Falcons 21-7 in the second half of a 31-24 loss in Atlanta. Will the team go no-huddle more often?

Probably not -- that is unless the situation calls for it.

“You’re down by 11 against Arizona, we’ve got to catch up,” Jeff Fisher said. “We hurry up. We score points. Same thing last week, we got down by 21 and we had to score points to catch up.”

The key word is “down.” Fisher hasn’t indicated any chance of the hurry-up offense occurring earlier in the game, say when the team is down by only a touchdown in the second quarter. It’s not needed considering the time left.

The numbers are there: 142 yards and 14 points in the fourth quarter. There is no escaping the fact it worked, but the hurry-up offense while down by 21 points is like the “no doubles” defense in the ninth inning of a five-run baseball game. Teams play conservative with a large lead in order to not give up the quick score.

In their two fourth quarter scoring drives, the Rams took seven minutes and six seconds off the clock. The Falcons took off another five minutes and 45 seconds from the fourth quarter clock during their scoring drive, which all but sealed the victory.

So what’s the point being made? The Rams moved the ball, but in small increments. Bradford and Co. moved the ball for pick-ups of 18, 2, 15, 23, 11, 3, and 3 to score on their first drive of the fourth to make it 24-17. After the Falcons scored again for a 14-point cushion, the Atlanta pass cushion grew as to avoid the big play and quick score, and the Rams’ pick-ups became smaller: 9, 10, 6, 9, 9, 6, 8, and 10.

“When anyone does no-huddle type offense, it makes the defense be a little more vanilla,” Austin Pettis said. “They can’t do as much disguising and different things like that. A lot of teams around the NFL are doing that and trying to get tells for the defense to put them in the best position.”

In this case, the Rams were successful. But all of the credit shouldn’t go to one player or even the offense as a whole. A little extra cushion from the Falcons D aided the success.

Scott Bierman covers the Rams, Cardinals, and Blues for KMOV.com and its associated mobile applications (FootballStL, BaseballStL and HockeyStL). You can follow him on Twitter @Scott_Bierman.

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