History Biography Geography Science Games


Football: Strategy

Football Rules Player Positions Football Strategy Football Glossary

Back to Sports
Back to Football

Football is a game of complex strategy and tactics. The basic strategy that each football team devises for a game is called a game plan. Each team has up to hundreds of diagramed plays and strategies that are worked out ahead of time for pre-determined situations. During the game and at half time these strategies are worked on and altered to adjust for the other team's strategies. Often how well these adjustments are made will determine the outcome of the game.

Diagram of football play
Author: Heinie Miller, PD

Offensive Football Strategy:

Each team has their own style of play and a strategy of how they like to play football. This strategy may be determined by the skill set of the players or the players may be chosen to fit into the strategy.

Some offensive football teams focus on the run. The offensive line will be chosen for their skills at run blocking. Tight ends and receivers are usually skilled blockers as well. Also, the backs will be chosen with run blocking and rushing skills in mind. In a college option offense, even the quarterback will be foremost a runner and only a passer in long yardage situations. A run oriented offense is often called ball-control offense. By running a team uses up time on the clock and also give their defense a chance to rest. Running teams tend to turn the ball over less and can keep the game to a lower score. Running football teams are good for using up the clock when they have a lead, but have a more difficult time coming from behind.

Other offensive football teams focus on the pass. In this case the offensive line needs to be able to pass block. In this offense the tight end, running backs, and receivers are foremost skilled at catching passes. A pass oriented football team is usually formed around a great passing quarterback. Passing teams are good at scoring quickly and making comebacks, but use up less clock and are more prone to turnovers.

Most teams try to be skilled at both passing and rushing the football. This balanced attack can keep the defense guessing and allows for more varied play calling depending on the game situation.

Defensive Football Strategy:

Football defenses today run numerous plays and formations throughout a game. The number of defensive linemen can vary from three to five. The number of linebacker can vary as well. Also, many teams will use 5 defensive backs in passing situations call the nickel defense.

One of the main strategies of football defenses against the pass is the blitz. This is when a player that would normally not rush the passer, rushes the passer. This may be a defensive back or a line backer. Many teams change up who is blitzing and how many players are blitzing nearly every play. Some teams blitz more than others. The advantage of the blitz is that a football team is more likely to get a sack or to give the quarterback less time to throw the football. The disadvantage is that there are less players downfield to tackle a runner or to cover receivers.

A defensive football strategy that is used late in games is the prevent defense. This usually means the defense has an extra defensive back and that the defenders are all staying behind the receivers. They will allow the offense to make a short pass or run in order to prevent a long pass from being successful.

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.