The Jets aren’t worried about the Patriots’ no-huddle offense. After all, they face a similar up-tempo offense every day in practice.
The Patriots have increasingly implemented their no-huddle offense this year to great effect, dictating the flow and tempo of the game and making it difficult for opposing defenses to adjust. New England is leading the league in total offense and points scored, the result of their fast-paced approach.
The Patriots don’t go exclusively with the no-huddle but when they do, it poses obvious problems for the Jets.
“You got to be sharp. What they want you to do is sub. Once you start subbing, you’re in trouble,” safety Yeremiah Bell told Metro. “Once you start subbing, you’re not settled and they’ll take advantage. You have to be ready, you have to be prepared, when they do go to the no-huddle.”
The good news for the Jets is that they go against an up-tempo offense in practice every day, something they hope will help them adjust to what they will face on Sunday. First-year offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has made it a priority to push the tempo from the huddle to the line of scrimmage and try to catch an opposing defense in a state of confusion.
There is also the added advantage of the Jets having played against the high-tempo, hurry-up style employed by the Dolphins during their Week 3 overtime win in Miami.
“That week was a great week. We were preparing for it. We made some big stops in the 4th quarter even they were going so fast,” defensive end Mo Wilkerson said. “I believe watching film, Miami was a little bit quicker, but New England is going to do what they can to get us off our mark.”
The Patriots have implemented the no-huddle in past seasons, but never like this. It has turned their usual high-powered offense into one Jets head coach Rex Ryan called “explosive.”
“That’s something that we’ve used before. I think some games we use it more than others, but it just depends on the game and the game plan and how it’s going and various other factors. It’s always been a part of our offense, or it has been for a long time,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. “It’s one of the things we can do and if we think it gives us an advantage then we can do it. If we don’t, we won’t.”
The no-huddle first become popular in the late 1980s with Sam Wyche’s Bengals and a few years later to even better effect when implemented by the Bills with quarterback Jim Kelly. The key to the offense is simplicity and plenty of cerebral players. Playing at such a fast tempo means the defense has a hard time making adjustments because the offense is always one play ahead, making personnel changes nearly impossible and causing fatigue.
“You have to practice against it throughout the week so you can be ready for it — for that tempo — on Sunday,” Wilkerson told Metro. “The scout team is doing a good job of emulating that. Like I said, we played in Miami and that definitely helps you because you know what’s coming. You’re prepared for it; you’re not scrambling around. You watch the film and a couple teams weren’t ready for it but we’ve prepared for that no-huddle and the tempo. We’ll be ready for it.”
“It’s hard to really tell — sometimes it looks faster, sometimes it is the same speed. You really can’t tell until you get into a game situation. It is tough to deal with until you get lined up,” Bell said of the difference between Miami and New England’s speed. “The tough thing is that with Miami, we almost knew when they were going to do it. The Patriots, it isn’t as easy. They start then stop then start then stop again or after a big play. You have to really be ready.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.