History Biography Geography Science Games


Football: Offense Basics

Sports >> Football >> Football Strategy

Quarterback starting the offense with blockers
Source: US Navy
The team that has the ball in football is the offense. They have four downs to go ten yards and get a first down or they lose possession of the ball. The offense can advance the ball by running or passing it.

Just like on defense there are eleven players on the field for each offensive play. The exact positions will change on different plays, but generally the offensive positions are: Lining Up on the Line of Scrimmage

To start out the play the team must line up on the line of scrimmage. You have to have at least seven players on the line of scrimmage. All the players but one must be set when the ball is snapped. One of the backfield players may be "in motion" at the time of the snap.

The Play Starts with the Snap

Each offensive play begins when the center snaps the ball to the quarterback.


An important part of any offensive play is blocking. This is where offensive players get in the way of defensive players to prevent them from tackling the player with the ball. Blockers may not hold onto defensive players making this a difficult task.

In the NFL blocking schemes are complex. Players have specific assignments on each play. The full back may be responsible for blocking the middle linebacker to the left. The right guard may pull and block the left defensive end to the right. It looks like a mess on TV, but each player has a job to do. Even the receivers have blocking responsibilities on running plays. A good block by a receiver on a cornerback can make the difference in scoring a touchdown.

Running Plays

On running plays the quarterback may run with the ball or hand it off to a running back. On rare occasions a receiver may sprint through the backfield and receive the ball for a running play. Passing Plays

In a passing play the quarterback drops back and throws the ball to an eligible receiver. Typically there is a primary receiver for a play, but if that is covered, the quarterback will look to other receivers. Players that catch the ball include wide receivers, slot receivers, tight ends, and running backs.

Some examples of passing plays include: Play Action

Play action is where the quarterback fakes a handoff for a run and then passes the ball. This is very effective when the team has had success running. The fake will cause the linebackers and safeties to "bite" on the run and move towards the line of scrimmage. This can give the receivers an advantage in getting open for the pass.

More Football Links:

Football Rules
Football Scoring
Timing and the Clock
The Football Down
The Field
Referee Signals
Football Officials
Violations that Occur Pre-Snap
Violations During Play
Rules for Player Safety
Player Positions
Running Back
Offensive Line
Defensive Line
The Secondary
Football Strategy
Offense Basics
Offensive Formations
Passing Routes
Defense Basics
Defensive Formations
Special Teams

How to...
Catching a Football
Throwing a Football
How to Punt a Football
How to Kick a Field Goal

Peyton Manning
Tom Brady
Jerry Rice
Adrian Peterson
Drew Brees
Brian Urlacher

Football Glossary
National Football League NFL
List of NFL Teams
College Football

Back to Football

Back to Sports

Ducksters Footer Gif with Ducks

About Ducksters Privacy Policy 


This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.