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Questions tagged [american-football]

Questions about the sport of American football. This should not be confused with the [football] tag, which only applies to the sport called "soccer" in most of North America.

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17 votes
1 answer
27k views

What is "Strength of Victory"?

The NFL lists the following Tiebreaking Procedures to break ties within a division: Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs). Best won-lost-tied percentage in games ...
Andrew Clark's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
3k views

One-point safety by defending team

I learned about the conversion safety today, where an NCAA team attempting an extra point can get a one-point safety if the kick is blocked but the defending team takes the ball into the endzone and ...
David Spencer's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
547 views

How are NFL matchups determined for each season?

During the 2012 NFL Season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens play each other in weeks 11 and 13, two weeks (in both NFL schedule and time) apart. To me, that seems too close for comfort. ...
user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
15k views

NFL division with all teams having a losing or winning record

I'm wondering if there has been any division in the modern day NFL history where all teams finished the regular season with winning or losing record. Even though this might not be so probable, it is ...
alamoot's user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
22k views

What determines the spot of a field goal kick in the NFL?

Is there a limit to how close the ball gets spotted behind the line of scrimmage during a field goal attempt? I regularly watch the NFL and on the field goals the holder awaits for the ball about 8 ...
alamoot's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
13k views

Difference between one gap and two gap techniques for defensive linemen

While watching American football, I frequently hear about "one gap" or "two gap" techniques when referring to defensive linemen. I found this terminology to be a bit unclear, so I looked for an ...
JW8's user avatar
  • 6,598
10 votes
1 answer
43k views

When can you get up again after falling on the ground?

I had always thought that when the ball carrier was on the ground, they were down and the play was over. Recently I have seen a fair number of plays such as interceptions or fumble recoveries where ...
That One Actor's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
975 views

What will happen to the current Bowl games when the playoff system commences?

In 2014, the NCAA will switch from the current Bowl Game system for Division 1 football to a four-team playoff format wherein the top 4 teams will compete for the championship. Will the current Bowl ...
SocioMatt's user avatar
  • 2,429
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

NFL Rule On Offensive lineman

Does the offensive lineman have to notify the referee in order to be an eligible receiver?
Sebastian Armas's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

While watching a football game on TV, what does "1st & 10" mean?

One thing that made me curious while watching a football game on TV was the numbers that appear on the ground. For instance, there's a "1st & 10" beside one team, but there was a "3rd & 6" a ...
Daniel Bastos's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why does the game stop after the kicking team catches a punt?

I am a occasional football watcher from Europe, so please excuse my stupid question. My question is the following: The standard outcome of a punt is a catch by the defending team and some running ...
E. Sommer's user avatar
  • 1,252
3 votes
1 answer
184 views

Running After Being Knocked Off Feet in the NFL

In what year(s) in the NFL was the runner allowed to get up and run after being knocked off his feet, as long as they weren't tackled and held down? From memory, it only lasted 1 or 2 years because it ...
Johnny Dabbs Sr.'s user avatar
35 votes
5 answers
167k views

"53 has the Mic" means what in American Football?

I frequently hear quarterbacks say something like "53 has the mic" when pointing out the defensive formation. Usually the player number that he points out is a linebacker. I believe the defensive ...
hwrdprkns's user avatar
  • 1,409
23 votes
6 answers
61k views

Why isn't spiking the football intentional grounding?

I understand that spiking the football is a time management technique in American football, but I don't understand why there is no penalty (e.g. intentional grounding) associated with it?
Raystafarian's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
67k views

How does one get 5 points in a football game?

During today's Niners vs Seahawks game, the score by the end of the first half was 0-5. What I don't understand is how the Seahawks scored 5 points. My understanding of football is : 6 points for a ...
yuritsuki's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
112k views

What is the difference between a strong safety and a free safety?

There are two distinct labels for a "safety" in football: strong (SS) and free (FS). Ed Reed (FS) and Troy Polamalu (SS) were two of the premier players in the NFL "in the safety position" during ...
user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
15k views

What is the purpose of the eligible reciever rules?

I do not know a lot about American Football, but I enjoy watching games from time to time. The other day I saw a penalty given for a player catching a pass but being an ineligible receiver. I had not ...
Bogdanovist's user avatar
  • 4,368
16 votes
2 answers
90k views

NFL standings: 8-6-2 team vs 9-7-0 team?

Are they considered to have the same records? One should just apply tie-breaking procedures? NFL rules say: If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with ...
FrenchKheldar's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
57k views

Who gets Super Bowl rings?

When a team wins the Super Bowl, there are a lot of players and organizational members that helped in the process. For each team playing this year, there are multiple players on injured reserve that ...
SocioMatt's user avatar
  • 2,429
15 votes
4 answers
17k views

Why are NFL hash marks closer than NCAA hash marks?

Typically as you move up to more competitive levels of a sport, elements are adjusted to account for the increase of skill/speed/power of better players. NBA 3-point line is farther from hoop than ...
Trevor D's user avatar
  • 701
12 votes
1 answer
11k views

Has the Lambeau Leap been banned at all NFL stadiums except Lambeau Field?

The Lambeau Leap is a celebration started by Green Bay Packers players who leap into the stands after scoring a touchdown at Lambeau Field. The celebration has spread across the NFL though, because I'...
pacoverflow's user avatar
  • 5,002
11 votes
3 answers
19k views

When a QB slides, is it considered a dead ball?

I was watching the Niners-Lions game last week and saw something that has me a little confused. I was under the impression that when a quarterback slides in the NFL, the play is considered dead when ...
SocioMatt's user avatar
  • 2,429
11 votes
1 answer
35k views

NFL 6th (consecutive) year captain patch

Since 2007, many NFL teams incorporated a "C" patch for team captains, and the number of gold stars filled in represents the number of consecutive years a player has been captain for his team(1). If ...
user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
4k views

What are the disadvantages of the wide nine defensive scheme?

Correct me if i'm wrong I've read a little about a wide-nine defensive scheme. Trying to get an understanding of this. From my understanding, a wide nine defensive philosophy depends on defensive ...
chrisjlee's user avatar
  • 3,347
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

American football yards after contact stats

I'm trying to find a breakdown of passing plays that takes into account yards after contact so I can subtract it out of a quarterbacks throwing yards to give a better picture of QB versus receiver ...
Jason Nordwick's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does a fast paced NFL offense tire out the defense more than the offense?

NFL broadcasts of Philadelphia Eagles games are full of shots of the opposing team's defense struggling to catch its breath. The announcers often discuss how Chip Kelly's fluid, no-huddle offense ...
two sheds's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
1 answer
13k views

Difference between three technique and five technique defensive linemen

During the predraft period, many scouting reports will mention that a defensive end can play a "three technique" or is better suited for a "five technique" role. Being unsure of what that meant, I did ...
JW8's user avatar
  • 6,598
8 votes
4 answers
35k views

Can a team sign an NFL player during the playoffs?

I was watching the Seahawks playoff game on 5 January 2019 and the kicker got injured. For instance, if the Seahawks won that game, could they sign a new player to replace the injured kicker or is the ...
nak5120's user avatar
  • 235
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

When does 12-men on the defense stop play?

I'm a bit confused about the rule for 12 men on the field in American Football when it's called on the defense. It seems like sometimes this penalty stops play and the offense does not get a chance to ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 546
8 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 546
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the closest any team has come to playing a home Super Bowl?

When this question was first posed, no team whose home stadium is hosting the Super Bowl had ever made it to the Super Bowl. My question is, which team has come the closest? (Closest in this case ...
PopularIsn'tRight's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

Can a team in the NFL make the playoffs with only three wins?

It's impossible for all the teams in a division to have losing records in their divisional games--every time someone loses a game, someone else in the division wins it. But the home team could win ...
kuzzooroo's user avatar
  • 1,540
8 votes
2 answers
4k views

4-3 defensive end vs. a 3-4 defensive end

I recently asked a question about a 3-4 outside linebacker vs. a 4-3 outside linebacker so this is related. Is a 3-4 end more of a hybrid tackle/END? I think teams that use a 3-4 try to get their ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 773
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the estimated point value of deferring after winning the coin toss?

In American football, the winner of the coin toss can make a choice now (usually to receive the kick-off which starts the game), or can defer their choice to the second half (thus having the option to ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 3,774
7 votes
2 answers
12k views

Can a forward pass be thrown after a handoff made in front of the quarterback?

The quarterback hands the ball to a receiver; the handoff is in front of the quarterback but behind the line of scrimmage, which is a legal play. Can the receiver now throw a forward pass?
Humberto Zavala's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
21k views

What is a "football move" in the NFL?

It happens a lot: a receiver catches the ball, drops it, it is called a fumble on the field. Then there is some expert commentator giving his opinion on whether the receiver made a 'football move' ...
neuronet's user avatar
  • 213
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there such a thing as an ineligible runner in football?

In American football, there is such a thing as an ineligible (pass) receiver. That is, a "lineman" (center, guard, tackle) is not allowed to catch forward passes. Are they similarly prohibited from ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 3,774
6 votes
3 answers
13k views

Is there a minimum number of players needed on the field in the NFL?

In the NFC Divisional playoff game on 2018-01-14 between Minnesota and New Orleans, Minnesota's Stephon Diggs scored a touchdown as time expired in the fourth quarter to take the lead and thus win the ...
Patrick Szalapski's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
700 views

Why do teams almost always pass on 2-point conversions?

I found an article saying that from 2011-2017, there were 506 two-point conversion attempts in the NFL, and 79% of those plays were passes. Is there any explanation for why teams pass so often on two-...
pacoverflow's user avatar
  • 5,002
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

How are tiebreakers determined among teams within an NFL conference?

This question mentions how tiebreakers are determined among teams within a division. During the 2013 NFL season, a scenario has developed where four teams are eligible (Baltimore and Pittsburgh - AFC ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
6k views

How much evidence has to be there to overturn an American football play?

I was just recently (5 minutes ago) watching an American football game. It was a quite important 4th down play to win the game, and the play was challenged. The cameras had absolutely ZERO view of the ...
Nash Read's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
18k views

Origin of the 3rd Down "noise"

Whilst watching an NFL game last week*, I noticed that when the visiting team's offense is on 3rd or 4th down, the stadium's speakers play some sort of noise - I'm guessing as a way of distracting / "...
ImClarky's user avatar
  • 3,036
4 votes
2 answers
3k views

What does defensive playcalling sound like for American football?

Whenever I hear audibles discussed, it's usually in the context of offense. But obviously defensive players must modify there formations with play calling schemes too. Can someone given an example ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

Activating a player from Injured Reserve/Designated To Return

The NFL allows one player per team per year to be placed on the IR and be marked as designated to return. What does the return process look like? How long must they be on IR, and how soon must they ...
Brad Koch's user avatar
  • 611
3 votes
2 answers
544 views

Are these two NFL rules overlapping?

I read two rules quoted on this website that seems to overlap: Rule 5, Section 1, Article 1: The game is played by two teams of 11 players each. If a snap, free kick, or fair-catch kick is made ...
meucaa's user avatar
  • 133
2 votes
2 answers
280 views

Why could the fumble in the Browns/Jets game not be advanced?

In the game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets on 12/27/2020, Baker Mayfield fumbled on the final Cleveland posession, at 1:25 remaining. The ball was fumbled during an attempted ...
David Carelli's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
87 views

Is the reception completed if a receiver gets one foot in bounds and then he steps on his own foot instead of getting the other foot down?

As the title explains, if the receiver gets one foot down, then he steps on his own foot and gets out of bounds, is it considered a valid catch or no?
Timothy's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
729 views

Why don't teams snap the ball back further than 7 yards on close-range field goal attempts?

If a team attempts a field goal from close range (ball placed inside 20), the setup seems to be the same as from far range, i.e. with the holder being located 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage. I ...
treuss's user avatar
  • 214
1 vote
1 answer
540 views

NFL football goal to go situation

When there's a goal to go situation and a team keeps making penalty they keep giving them halfway to the goal halfway to the goal penalty now they run out of room there at the goal line. Can the team ...
Sampras66's user avatar