A dink and dunk offense is one that makes its way down the field by utilizing short quick throws. This type of offense typically has to string together a long drive in order to score a touchdown as long plays are uncommon in their offense.
What Does A Dink And Dunk Offense Look Like?
Now that you know what a dink and dunk offense is you may be wondering what it looks like in action. There are several routes that are going to be common in your typical dink and dunk offense.
The Flat Route
The flat route consists of a player, most often a running back moving towards the sideline and stopping just before the line of scrimmage. This is one of the shortest and easiest routes to throw for a quarterback .
Since the ball is caught near the line of scrimmage this route does not typically gain many yards. The flat route is often used as a check down in a dink and dunk offense.
The slant route is another common route often used in this offense. The slant route is run by taking a few steps forward before cutting on a fourty five degree angle across the field.
This route is also quite short but can generate a fair amount of yards after the catch. It is often used in a hurry-up offense to get a quick completion.
Dink and dunk offenses often use this play when the defense is utilizing man coverage.
Screens and are another more football concepts you may see in this style of offense. This play relies on a screen of blockers protecting the player that caught the ball.
Screen passes are very similar to runs and can allow the team to create a more balanced offense.
On these plays, the throw is going to remain short but the blockers that travel with the ball carrier allow him to pick up extra yards. Screen plays like this are especially effective against the blitz.
Why Use This Strategy?
Since these short passes in this offense often don’t go for many yards you may wondering why teams use this offense. There are a few reasons below which will show why some teams opt to use this style of offense.
A major reason a team may decide to run this offense has to do with their quarterback. Having elite arm strength in the NFL is incredibly important but unfortunately, not all quarterbacks have it.
For this reason, some quarterbacks are forced to make up for this arm strength in other ways. Using a dink and dunk offense you can utilize and accuracy and football IQ to beat the defense.
In other words, this style of play allows quarterbacks that struggle with arm strength to succeed or at least mask their flaws.
This is done by throwing short passes to open receivers. This is often referred to as “taking what the defense gives you”.
Another reason that an offense may choose to use a dink and dunk style of play is due to the opposing defense. Some defenses are more aggressive with their coverage which leads them to allow deep passes.
While others such as the bend but don’t break defense are the opposite. This type of defense does not allow long passes but leaves underneath passes wide open. In a situation like this, you may find that the best option is to use an offense that focuses on short passes.
Which Players Benefit From This Style Of Offense
Just as a deep ball receiver would benefit from a gunslinger quarterback there are players that will benefit from this one as well. Below we will break down the positions most likely to produce more in a dink and dunk offense.
The running back is one position that is going to benefit from a dink and dunk offense. This is especially true for running backs that tend to catch the ball.
Running backs play the majority of the game in close proximity to the quarterback. This means when the quarterback is passing they are usually a short throw away.
Checking down the ball as a quarterback is a common practice in a dink and dunk offense. And no player benefits more from check-downs than the running back.
You will find that these offenses will often feature a running back waiting in the flat and if no other passing options are open this player will get the ball.
Most receptions in this position aren’t going to result in many yards gained but every once and a while a halfback is able to take a check down pass for a long gain.
Slot receivers are another position that is going to produce more when used in this offense. These players are primarily known for getting open on short routes. They do not tend to have elite top-end speed but they are quite quick and agile.
This allows them to get open on comebacks, slants, hooks and other short routes. These players tend to create separation shortly after the ball has been snapped.
This makes it even easier to throw to this position as a quarterback is less likely to be sacked or pressured.
Slant receivers can get a fair amount of YAC after their catches but in most situations, their passes will only be for a short gain.
Due to the number of short passes they receive these players will often, achieve a large number of receptions but not too many yards.
Tight end is another position that will often benefit from the dink and dunk offense. These players like slot receivers don’t have great speed which means they usually aren’t suited for deep routes.
Tight ends are often targetted in the short and intermediate passing routes making them quite useful in a dink and dunk offense.
These players also tend to be known for their consistency in catching the ball. When looking for a safe option to throw too tight ends will often fill that role.
This is especially true in the redzone where tight ends are known to be targetted at a much higher rate.
If a team is looking to run a dink and dunk offense successfully having a capable receiving tight end is a big part of that puzzle.