Rivers signaled to
During that series, Rivers put receivers in motion. He signaled and switched the positioning of his running backs. And when the situation called for it, he sped his teammates up to the line with enough speed to catch the Cardinals on their heels.
“I think that’s the tempo we wanted to play at today,” said head coach Mike McCoy. “We wanted to make sure that we got in some situations where we could play some no-huddle. It was an idea we had early on to do it and see what happens.”
McCoy’s quick tempo plan proved effective for Rivers. His audible to Mathews was the first in a series of small, but very smart plays that made sure the offense stayed on the offensive.
Rivers shifted Mathews to his right rather than his left on the ensuing play. When he deked to his shifted back after the snap, the Cardinals linebackers bought it, crashing the backfield instead of reading the play. When
He hurried his team up to the line right after the whistle blew. And in doing so, Rivers was able to distinguish where his favorite target,
He shouted to Gates from an empty set. Although incomplete, Rivers didn't misread the play -- his tight end was absolutely open on the route he told him to run.
Gates smiled when he thought about what the relationship he has with Rivers could evolve into when the defense doesn't have time to react.
“It’s still new to us, but at the same time, the continuity between me and (Rivers) is ongoing.” Gates said. “I think it’s just about us doing it together.”
The offense was rolling after that completion, so Rivers did as he was coached – he slowed it down. And from the huddle two plays later, he called another smart play.
Rivers knew he had a safety valve in
Another nod to returning target
The scoring play - a one-yard run by Ryan Mathews – didn’t come via the air but rather on the ground. Still, Rivers said he knew the no-huddle had accomplished its intended result.
“As a pass rusher, you’ve got to get tired,” Rivers said. “You’re just going all the time. And that just allows us to go fast when we want and go slow when we want. We liked the way it turned out tonight.”