Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times addresses the advantages and disadvantages of running an no-huddle offense:
“The success of the hurry-up offense often is born of desperation. At the end of a half or the end of a game, with time running out, the two-minute drill can bring an offense to life.
“When executed properly, it creates the focus, timing and -momentum that give the offense the rhythm any quarterback or play-caller craves — forcing players to only react and giving coaches no time to over-think. And at the same time, it often leaves a defense in a state of frustration — huffing and puffing, on its heels and often a step behind on every play.”
“[Nick] Foles’ affinity for the tempo of the no-huddle has been a recurring theme since he replaced [Mitch Trubisky as the Bears’ starting quarterback.”
One of the things that Potash didn’t mention was that teams frequently go to the no-huddle at the end of games when not only is there a sense of desperation but the opposing defense is often in prevent mode where they are simply trying to avoid the big play. This makes for more apparent success.
Foles’ affinity for the no-huddle was probably born in the time he spent with former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. The fact that Kelly is no longer a head coach in the NFL should tell you something about the long-term benefits of his offense.
The no-huddle is great if it works for all of the reasons Potash documented above. The problem is that when it doesn’t work it’s not the opposing defense that’s “huffing and puffing”. It’s your own guys, who you have thrown under the bus by giving them almost no rest on the side line while you used only seconds off the clock in a three and out.
Like most aspects of offensive play, the no-huddle is great if you have a good offense anyway. On the other hand, when you have an offense like the Bears, it can ruin the only good part of your team.
I like the way that head coach Matt Nagy is handling this. Foles obviously likes it and wants to do it and it can’t hurt too much to go ahead and do it occasionally as a change of pace and see if you can build some momentum. But don’t over do it or serious problems may ensue.