FOXBORO, Mass. — The
Patriots' offense was moving at such a rapid pace during Sunday's win against
Denver that it was even difficult to keep up with the game on television at
times. Unfortunately for Pete Carroll and the Seahawks, come Sunday it will be
their responsibility to try and stop the potent attack.
During New England's 31-21
win over the Broncos, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels orchestrated one of the
quickest and most efficient offensive schemes ever seen in professional
football. And Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense executed it to perfection.
The Patriots ran a total of
84 plays, including 95 snaps, on Sunday and at times were spending a mere 16 to
19 seconds in between plays. That's an absurd pace for any football team, and
definitely one that no opposing defense looks forward to stopping.
Carroll, a former head coach
in both New England and at USC, has seen all sorts of offensive systems during
his 34 years of coaching, and he's done a pretty damn good job defending them.
But even he admits that he's never seen any team execute at the accelerated
pace. Not in the NFL at least.
"Yeah, the Oregon
Ducks," Carroll said of Patriots' no-huddle attack. "They’re the ones
that play similar to this. I’m sure there are some other college teams that are
doing it. There’s nobody in the league [NFL] that’s close at this time, but
there will be.
The up-tempo attack that Chip
Kelly and Oregon have run over the past few seasons is almost incomparable. If
anyone were able to do it, though, Belichick and McDaniels — who have both
together and separately developed some of the most potent offenses in NFL
history — would be the culprits.
Just like the Dolphins did
with the wildcat a few years ago, maybe this unique approach will spur on a new
trend for offenses around the league. Carroll at least seems to think so.
"There’s nobody that’s
tried to play like they’re playing," Carroll said. "They’ll affect
other people I’m sure, because they’ve had so much success already."
Fortunately for Carroll, he
has plenty of experience with Kelly and the Ducks from his time coaching the
Trojans in the then Pac 10. The downside is he also knows the rigors of trying
to defend it.
"We don’t have a
chance," Carroll jokingly said of preparing for the Patriots up-tempo
offense. "I don’t know. We’re just going to do the best we can. We’re
going to try to practice fast and see if we can catch up with it."
With the Seahawks boasting
the NFL's first-rated defense and arguably some of the most athletic and
physical defenders in the league, they shouldn't be at too great a
disadvantage. Something Carroll is undoubtedly counting on.
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