COMMENTARY | It won't be easy for the Washington Redskins to beat the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night, it never is, but they can get the job done if they utilize their most effective weapon: the no huddle offense.
We haven't seen it much this season from Washington. Through their first four games, we've only seen them run a total of 32 plays out of the no-huddle offense. While it's been used sparingly, it's been effective. Washington has gained 195 yards, scored two touchdowns and a field goal on drives when the no-huddle offense is incorporated in them. They've maintained a 6.2 yards per play average.
Against the Raiders, we saw the Redskins run a total of 18 plays out of that style of offense. They picked up 95 yards and scored a total of ten points. Whenever they do run the no-huddle offense, something just seems to click within the offense and it becomes extremely effective. Quarterback Robert Griffin III, who many, including me, believe hasn't fully returned to his old self yet, looks much more comfortable and within himself when running that style of offense.
When it comes to the Cowboys, they struggled defensively when the Denver Broncos sped things up with the no-huddle offense. The Broncos ran 44 no-huddle plays for 343 yards, six touchdowns and two field goals for a total of 46 points (including extra points). They averaged 7.79 yards per play. Yes, it was the high powered offense led by Peyton Manning, but the principle strategy still applies in that this can work for the Redskins, too.
The Redskins need to keep the Cowboys' defense on their heels and the best way to do it is with the no-huddle offense. All season long, the Redskins' defense have been the ones getting gassed because they've been on the field for so long. This week, the Redskins need to help their defense out and sustain some drives while tiring out their opponents.
The Cowboys' offense is far superior to the Redskins' defense. They will score some points and it could become a track meet, much like the Cowboys' most recent match up with Denver. If that becomes the case, the Redskins will need to keep up by scoring fast and scoring often. With the no-huddle offense, they can do that.
When they go to their normal huddle-up offense, the pace slows down and the offense just isn't as crisp. One could venture to say that it's because they begin to think when they slow the pace and that's not a bad assumption, it's actually one I would agree with. When you begin to speed things up, that's when you start to act on your instincts and you begin to move faster as a player, offense and team.
By utilizing the no-huddle offense, the Redskins will give themselves the best chance to win. However, they need to make sure that it's a balanced attack. Whenever someone discusses this style of offense, most people immediately think of an all-out aerial assault. For the Redskins, they'll need to get running back Alfred Morris going to really make the whole production run like clock work.
By balancing out the offense while also keeping a fast pace, the Redskins will tire out the defense and keep them on their heels all while making them think about what might come next. As we discussed earlier, when a player starts to think, bad things can happen.
This Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys is an important one for the Redskins. With a victory, they would bring themselves just one game below .500 and would greatly improve their chances of stealing the NFC East title. Plus, it will be on national television so a good showing would show the football world that they still got it.
I would expect (well, hope) to see a heavy dose of the no-huddle offense. It has worked well for the Redskins and the Cowboys' defense hasn't played well against it. By running the no-huddle offense, the Redskins will give themselves their best chance of leaving Dallas with a win.
Brian Skinnell is a contributor for RantSports.com and Yahoo Sports. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brian_Skinnell.
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