As I was watching the game, I was checking in on Twitter. I read a lot of snarky comments making fun of people who said an option game could never work in the NFL. Like the success of Griffin (and, to a lesser extent, Wilson) this year suddenly proved that an option game could be successful in the NFL.
First of all, how about taking a "wait and see" approach. It's one year. Let's see what happens next year before we start saying that this can absolutely work, and offenses are trending in that direction, and so on.
That being said...
I do believe that it can work in the NFL, but I don't think every team is suddenly going to have success with the option offense. You need the right pieces to be able to run it successfully. The main piece, of course, is the QB.
That's where Griffin comes in.
We talked about him before the draft, but it bears repeating: he's a special QB. A lot of people knew him for his speed, but he also has a cannon arm, and, more importantly, great accuracy (which a lot more people have seen as this season has progressed). That's what you need for the option offense to work in the NFL: accuracy from your QB. The defense needs to respect the passing game. That's why you don't see Pat White running the option offense somewhere (or the Vick brothers, or Eric Crouch, etc.).
In college, it's all about speed, and having better athletes than the other team. The threat of passing has to be there, but not too much. In college, the box can be stacked with 9 guys and you can still run a successful option offense. In the NFL, with no threat of a consistent passing game, the defense can feel free to stack the box and destroy the offense before it gets going.
So, while the statement, "The option offense can't succeed in the NFL" is not exactly true, it's not entirely false, either. It can succeed, but only with the right pieces. Last I checked, there aren't a bunch of RGIII's laying around.
I was going to discuss the basics of the option offense, but it's hard to do without diagrams, and I'm fairly tired at the moment. Perhaps I'll delve into the specifics a little later this week.