Was Patriots hurry-up offense vs. Ravens one-time thing, or will it be used more?

Ryan Hannable
November 13, 2019 - 9:10 am

While the Patriots fell to the Ravens, 37-20, in their game before the bye, the offense seemed to find something by going up-tempo and utilizing the no-huddle.

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After struggling mightily in their first three possessions, the offense turned it around by totaling 329 yards on 55 plays (5.98 yards per play) from the second quarter on.

In going hurry-up, the offense only used three wide receivers -- Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett. Jakobi Meyers played only one snap when Dorsett was banged up on the first drive, and N'Keal Harry and Gunner Olszewski were inactive.

So, will the hurry-up offense be the new identity of the Patriots offense, or was it limited to facing the Ravens defense?

"I think tempo is one of those variables that you certainly can implement each week if you feel like it’s the right thing to do," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said on a conference call Tuesday. "I think some of that is dependent on our numbers, or our health in terms of how we need to play the game. If we have players that that may affect in a negative way, then obviously you have to be careful and be smart about that and make good decisions. Sometimes, that’s certainly contingent upon what the other team does, how they play, how it may impact them. And at the end of the day, it’s one of the questions you ask yourself about: 'Is this the best way for us to be productive on offense?' which is ultimately the goal every week. It’s like saying, “'s throwing deep every week a good thing? Is being in an empty backfield a good thing? Is using draw plays a good thing?' 

"I think it’s one of those questions you go through each week and try to figure out is this going to be a productive way for us to play? And if it is, then great, and if it’s not, then you try to make the best decisions that you can based on the information that you have. Certainly, it was something that we chose to do, and whether we choose to do it again and again is a whole other story. Obviously, we didn’t win that game and we made plenty of mistakes and didn’t capitalize on all of our opportunities, so there’s a lot for us to work on in terms of technique and fundamentals, regardless of whether we’re playing fast or not. Ultimately, that’s what we’re after is trying to play our cleanest games of the year as we move forward."

The Patriots' 52 percent no-huddle rate in the game was the NFL’s second-highest single-game mark since 2017, and the Patriots’ highest rate in over five years.

Based on this and what we know, the Patriots will not be going exclusively no-huddle the rest of the year, but if the situation presents itself they won't be afraid to use it given the success they had in Week 9.

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