Conversation about the no-huddle offense was all the rage in August and early September. The New England Patriots' "one-word" play calls and the growing no-huddle attacks of the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens were the big growing trends for 2012.
After 10 weeks, it's safe to say the conversation wasn't all hype.
STATS, Inc. said via The Florida Times-Union that 14.6 percent of all NFL snaps have taken place without a huddle this season. That might not sound like much, but it's up 57 percent on last year. It's more than double the total of no huddle snaps two seasons ago.
The Ravens' use of the no huddle is instructive. Occasionally, they lean on it as their primary way to run offense. In other weeks, like against the Cleveland Browns, it's barely used at all. Last week against the Oakland Raiders, the Ravens broke it out on third-and-9 in their second offensive drive. They went no huddle for the next five plays and scored a touchdown.
Two drives later, the Ravens broke it out again. In five plays and 77 yards, they had a score. It's not always that effective, of course, but the Ravens keep opponents guessing as to when they will break out the no huddle. They used it to great effect on two later drives to help build their lead to 48-17 midway through the third quarter. At that point, they slowed down the tempo for the rest of the game.
The Raiders, meanwhile, used the no-huddle offense quite a bit in the fourth quarter in an effort to stretch out the game.
It's a tool in the arsenal for many teams. New England relies on it heavily. Teams like Baltimore, Oakland and Atlanta pick their spots, but it's clearly become a bigger part of the NFL. It's on defenses now to adjust.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.