Sparsely used no-huddle effective vs. Redskins

Sparsely used no-huddle effective vs. Redskins
December 11, 2012, 5:00 pm
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What happened to the no-huddle?

The Ravens used it for three consecutive plays in Sunday’s 31-28 loss at the Washington Redskins, and it resulted in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin to tie the score at 14.

In all, they went no-huddle for four plays. That’s a far cry from how they opened the season by running it for more than 20 plays vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in a 44-13 victory.

"I thought  it was a possiblity because they've done it in some games but then in other games (vs.) Pittsburgh last week they didn't do it much at all," said Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who had a hit on Flacco that caused an interception in the third quarter, told Sirius NFL Radio of the Ravens' slowed-down offense.

Despite putting up enough points to win, the Ravens’ offense appeared disjointed. They ended the second quarter in confusion as coach John Harbaugh could be seen on the sideline shouting with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who was fired Monday in his fifth season.

Harbaugh denied there was an issue between the two. Jim Caldwell, the quarterbacks coach who ushered Peyton Manning in the no-huddle as the quarterbacks coach of the Indianapolis Colts, takes over for Cameron. 

The Ravens had a 21-14 lead and the ball on their own 13 with just 44 seconds left in the half. From the Shotgun formation, Ray Rice ran for no gain and a timeout was used.

Flacco then completed a 9-yard pass to Dennis Pitta before going no-huddle with 18 seconds left.  Flacco made a first down with a 5-yard run and called a timeout. A quick pass to Rice on the next play ended the half and a peculiar sequence to say the least. 

Not running no-huddle allowed the Redskins to key in on pressuring Flacco and vary their play-calling. It paid off with third-quarter turnovers that led to six points for them and prevented the Ravens from making it a two-possession game.

"We were ready for it because they had done it early in the season but they hadn't done it as much lately. I wasn't too surprised," Kerrigan said. "But they're usually effective when they have done it. "