Questions about the American sport of football. Not to be confused with the [football] tag, which Americans call "soccer."

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6
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1answer
53 views

Is a double-challenge possible?

In American football (NFL), is it possible for both teams to challenge on the same thing for the same play?
6
votes
2answers
418 views

Why isn't the term “hat trick” used in American Football?

Hat trick is commonly used in association football and hockey when a player scores three goals in a match or game. Given that association football and American football have similar roots, I would ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

How can a football team tie with another team?

I am, a football beginner, but still a fan. Now I've been wondering how could an NFL team tie with another team. I know that there, is OT, and I'm not sure if the game ends with a tie after 1 OT. ...
8
votes
1answer
58 views

Can a runner achieve a first down when offensive holding is called down field?

Say it's 2nd and 5 at Team A's own 25 yard line and a runner makes of gain of 10 yards to the 35 yard line. What happens if offensive holding is called down field at Team A's 35 yard line? Offensive ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

What's the etymology of the term Red Zone

I know what the Red Zone is. My interest is the etymology of the word. I'm not sure of the first time I heard it or if they even used it when I was kid growing up in Oakland during the 70's. ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

The Dime Package in Football

I've frequently heard of the 'Dime Package' in football. I know the nickel package but don't get with the dime is. Can someone explain the dime package and under what circumstances that it should ...
5
votes
1answer
306 views

Players at certain position are all injured, what happens?

What happens if all or the basic amount of necessary players on a NFL team are injured in the same game and cannot return to play? Do they take some other players that are able to play such necessary ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Onside kick statistics

What percentage of onside kicks have been successful in the NFL regular season this year? In what percentage of onside kicks did the kicking team regain possession of the ball?
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Why is Tom Brady's helmet different?

The form of Tom Brady's helmet seems to be different than most players, even from his own team. His helmet have a somewhat old-fashioned look. Is there a known reason for this?
-4
votes
2answers
91 views

what is the most 'unlikely' final football score? [closed]

i think there is arguably, one score in particular that would be extremely unlikely but certainly possible. yes , i realize that a score of 700 to 140 is unlikely but it is also virtually ...
4
votes
3answers
402 views

How is an “attrition” strategy supposed to work in football?

Commenting the Alabama-Clemson game, a commentator noted that Clemson would run many "side" plays and try to wear down the Alabama defense. Apparently that didn't work, given the result. How would a ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

What is the significance of the 20 yard line?

I can think of two instances where this comes into play. One is if the kick-off falls behind the receiving goal line, and the runner chooses to "down" the ball in the endzone rather than run it out. ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Has anyone estimated or quantified the point value of a “deferred” reception?

In American football, after the coin toss, one team will "receive" the ball (that is immediately, to start the first quarter), while the other team will "defer," (until the beginning of the third ...
4
votes
2answers
54 views

NFL broadcast info---HS or college affiliation? What does that mean?

When a professional football player introduces himself and states his college affiliation, must that player have graduated from that college or does 3 years allow for him to declare that school ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Why does kicking team get a new set of downs in this occurrence?

According to the official NFL rules about punting, http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/rulebook/pdfs/12_Rule9_Scrimmage_Kick.pdf Rule 9 (Scrimmage kick), Section 3, (Catch or recovery of ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

What does “dead money” mean when referred to in the NFL?

I always hear this used especially during the off season when players are being signed to a new contract or cut. I still don't understand the significance and usage so what does "dead money" mean when ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Football field: Defensive goal line “plane” is actually the back of the painted line?

In the NFL and presumably in most football leagues, the goal lines, yard lines, and hash marks are all four inches wide. The hash marks/yard lines are painted at 36-inch intervals; that is, they ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Division Tie Breaker - Common Games

I understand the common games tie breaker between division teams but what if Team A has played Team C twice (one loss, one win) and Team B has played Team C only once and won? Would Team A's pct = ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

How can an NFL team with a worse win-loss record than a division rival clinch a playoff berth before their rival?

As of week 16 of the 2015 NFL season, the top two AFC West teams are the Broncos and the Chiefs. Specifically: Notice the x next to the Chiefs indicates they have clinched the playoffs. So they ...
5
votes
3answers
147 views

Why do NFL QBs spike the ball after penalty causes refs to call play dead?

QB snaps the ball Refs call penalty - off-sides, false start, or other line-related penalty Before or as refs blow whistle, QB drops back 2-4 steps After penalty called, QB spikes ball into the ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Are linemen required to use a 3-point-stance in American football?

In American football, are linemen required to use a 3-point-stance? If they wanted to, could they stand (without moving) next to the line of scrimmage before the snap? Are there different ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

If a runner gets pushed back into their end zone and does not try to advance again, is it a safety?

If a runner gets forward progress out of their end zone but gets pushed back into their end zone and tackled, is he awarded with forward progress or is it a safety? Example: Team A is on their own 2 ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Can a football team assign a HB or FB as passer and QB as Running Back?

Is it legal within the NFL and NCAA rules that the main passer is assigned a halfback or fullback number on the team while the running back is assigned to the quarterback one? For example, could Tom ...
4
votes
0answers
52 views

Who pays for the travel for Heisman trophy nominees?

When a player is nominated to receive the Heisman Trophy, he and sometimes his family appears at the trophy presentation. Who pays for this travel?
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Captain stars on NFL football jerseys

In American NFL football, team captains now wear a "C" on their jerseys. Under the "C", there are stars. Some players have white stars, while others have gold ones. Others have a mix. What is the ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Why is a PAT required after a game-winning TD at the end of regulation, but not OT?

The NFL overtime rules state that a touchdown by either team wins the game (field goals and esoteric scoring methods are irrelevant to this question). During Sunday Night Football on November 29, ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Can an ineligible receiver catch a ball thrown by a quarterback whose hand was hit while throwing?

During the Patriots-Broncos game on November 29, 2015, Brock Osweiler had his hand hit as he was passing the ball, causing it to pop up and end up in the direction of the linemen. Could an offensive ...
5
votes
3answers
223 views

American Football: Why take knee before halftime?

I'm interested in the following situation: a team in American football possesses the ball with less than a minute left in the first half of a game and is facing a long field to score. Oftentimes, ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Does the outcome of conference championship games affect College Football Playoff standings?

With the "regular" season of NCAA football over, are the College Football Playoff standings locked, or are the outcomes of the various conference championship games considered when determining the ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

American football delay of game

Scenario: Your team is up by 5. There are 5 minutes remaining in the game. It is 4th down and goal-to-go from the opponent’s 40 yard line (you’ve had a lot of penalties). Your punter can guarantee ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Fair catch after football hits ground.

A kicked ball hits the ground before a fair-catch signal is made. After the ball hits the ground the return man signals for teammates to stay away (hands waving below waist), is it legal for him to ...
7
votes
1answer
258 views

Is there a rule for when K-Balls are used?

In the NFL, special balls ("K-Balls") are used for kicking plays. These balls are harder and slicker than the balls used during normal play. My understanding is that kickers don't really like using ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

Is there a penalty for kicking a PAT from the 2 yard line in the NFL?

This year the NFL changed the way extra points work so that 2-point-conversion attempts are snapped from the 2 yard line as they always were, but extra points are now snapped from the 15. If a team ...
3
votes
2answers
159 views

Can football players play multiple positions?

Can American football players play multiple positions? I know that in the one-platoon system, the players played both offence and defence. But in modern football can they play other positions than ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

NFL overtime: after a field goal, clock runs out on second team's possession

Under the NFL's current "modified sudden death" overtime rules, if the first team scores a field goal, the second team is entitled to one more possession. What happens if the clock runs out during ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Why is an illegal shift treated as a false start at the end of a half in American football?

Yesterday near the end of the Seahawks-Cowboys game the Cowboys were down by 1 but had possession of the ball. They had no timeouts and next to no time left on the clock. Hurrying to get a play off, ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

Highest combined passer rating [closed]

Following last night's game between the Giants and Saints, where Drew Brees had a passer rating of 140.5 and Eli Manning had 138.2, does anyone know if there has been an NFL game where the combined ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Can an eligible receiver play at an ineligible position?

I was reading through an older question here and I was wondering if a player whose number lies in the eligible receiver range can line up as an interior offensive lineman? Also, if they can line up ...
6
votes
3answers
181 views

Why are some offensive formations illegal in American football?

In American football you have to have at least 7 players on the line of scrimmage. You can have more, but some of your players are then "covered" by others and are no longer eligible. What's the point ...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

Can an offensive lineman catch a lateral in high school football?

In high school football, can an offensive lineman legally catch a lateral pass? Does it make any difference if a receiver is covering him from the snap?
1
vote
1answer
513 views

What are the possible outcomes after a blocked extra point in college football?

I was watching a Div. I NCAA football game today. A PAT was blocked and one of the defenders picked the ball up. The announcer said that it was a live ball. What are the possible outcomes in this ...
-1
votes
2answers
67 views

Running Head Start Offsides American Football

Is it offsides in American football to have one person start 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage and start running, having the ball snapped just before he crosses the line to give him a running head ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

can a football receiver tip the ball to another receiver?

In NCAA football, can a receiver tap the ball to another receiver, similar to a volleyball pass. I thought once an offensive receiver touched the ball it was an incomplete pass if a defensive player ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Why doesn't a neutral zone infraction stop play?

Why is it that a false start by the offense stops play but neutral zone infraction by defense does not? I understand why holding penalties don't stop play because the play is ongoing and they don't ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

Why do american commentators call the ball “the football”?

Listening to commentators on NFL games, it seems that all of them systematically call the ball "the football", and not just "the ball". Why is that the case? In Rugby or Soccer (at least in my ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Injured reserve or waiver wire then injured reserve

why would a team place a player on waivers and then IR as opposed to placing him directly on IR
6
votes
1answer
166 views

What is this piece of training equipment called?

What is this fake player cutout thing called? It appears to be mesh. It looks like it's used simply as a visual point-of-reference for certain drills. You can see it being used in this video.
6
votes
1answer
311 views

How many of the NFL tiebreakers have actually been used?

The NFL has a long list of tie-breaking procedures. There are seven separate lists of rules depending on possible tie situations. However, it seems incredibly unlikely that two teams would have: ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

How to read NFL current score format

This is the current "state" of the NFL game. What does it mean? "3rd and 24 on SF 20 yd" (SF is obv. San Francisco) Sorry for possible duplicate question - I cannot build up a question in English ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

When did incentives and salary escalators start in the NFL?

Today, you commonly hear about players in the NFL breaking some threshold to unlock incentive bonuses. I want to know when these incentives started to appear in players' contracts and how the ...