Is there a more eloquent term for the set of downs from one first down to another?

For example, 1st down, 2nd down, 1st down 2nd down 3rd down would be 2 "sets of downs". I'm looking for a better name.

1 Answer 1


According to John Reed's Football Dictionary, Series is the correct term for a set of downs. I am not sure it's consistently used that way (as opposed to for an entire drive, which would be the offensive plays that constitute one possession) but that seems right to me.

This is also the term used by the official NFL rulebook (see Section 8):

A Series of Downs is the four consecutive charged scrimmage downs allotted to the offensive team during which it must advance the ball to a yard line called the necessary line in order to retain possession


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