Ravens Need to Hurry Against No-Huddle
Having grown up in Annapolis, Bill Belichick remembers watching quarterback Johnny Unitas, one of the NFL's pioneers of the pass, drive the Baltimore Colts up and down the field with their version of the two-minute drill. At the time, no one did it quite like the man with the golden arm.
Nearly four decades after Unitas retired, quarterback Tom Brady often forgoes a huddle, racing to the line of scrimmage to exploit reeling defenses. Some suggest his New England Patriots are pioneers of sorts with what they have done this season, but Belichick spikes that notion.
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"It's not like that's something brand new to football," Belichick said about his team's offensive style.
But you would think otherwise given how often his Patriots have caught opponents off guard.
This season, the Patriots ran more plays, piled up more yards, picked up more first downs and scored more points than any team in the NFL. With their offensive stars producing video-game-type numbers, the Patriots will host the Ravens in the AFC championship game on Sunday for a second straight season.
For the Ravens to leave Foxborough with a win this time, they must find a way to slow down Brady and the Patriots, something few teams have been able to do.
The Patriots have used the no-huddle offense for a little more than a quarter of their plays this season. But it's when they use it, not how often they use it, that makes it so difficult to defend.