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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3answers
667 views

Would it be possible for a kicker from a “non-traditional” background to be drafted by an NFL team?

Almost all football players are drafted out of college, rather than high school, because the extra "seasoning" in college makes them league ready, or nearly so (this is not true in baseball). But ...
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3answers
8k views

NFL: Why do kick coverage teams always run all the way down the field

I've noticed this frequently in the NFL. When there's a kickoff that is downed in the end zone for a touchback (or is out of the back of the endzone), the coverage team still runs all the way down the ...
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3answers
9k views

NFL the playoff race tie breakers regarding common games record

Based on the rankings explanation provided by CBS regarding the NFL playoff situation; CBS provides something regarding a common record: Seattle is ahead of Detroit based on common games record (4-...
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3answers
884 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 ...
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3answers
6k views

Why not go for a field goal attempt instead of a punt in some situations?

I have noticed that in American football the ball seems to travel farther when launched from a tee on the ground, or from the fingers of a holder on the ground, than when launched from a punt. What ...
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3answers
69k views

What are the rules governing passing in american football? [closed]

Last night after having seen the Super Bowl I ended up watching Top Ten Trick Plays in NFL on youtube. Some of the tricks that are mentioned in there made it clear that I was not fully informed on the ...
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3answers
1k 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 ground ...
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2answers
730 views

Why is a 4-2-5 defense named as such?

I was watching a Bleacher Report video. In the video breaking down the TAMU-SC opener game, the narrator said, "Thanks to the abundance of linebacking talent, [SC] are looking to move to more of a 3-...
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1answer
127 views

Why does NFL have games on Thursdays?

Players and specially coaches don't like playing on short weeks. It doesn't give the players enough time to heal from the previous game, and it makes it tough for the coaches to come up with game ...
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1answer
724 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 ...
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1answer
3k views

College football game - start time vs kickoff time

I'm always confused by the times for which college football games are scheduled. If a game (say, like the Oregon/Ohio State game tonight) has a start time of 6:30 PM, does that mean that the kickoff ...
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2answers
394 views

Is a running back allowed to toss the football out of bounds to stop the clock?

This question applies to all levels of American football from pee wee football all the way up to the NFL. If a running back is past the line of scrimmage and is running towards the sideline with the ...
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1answer
661 views

better name for “set of downs”

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 ...
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4answers
354 views

What kind of impact does a full season suspension of a major player have on an NFL team?

Recently Jonathan Vilma was sidelined by the NFL for the entire 2012 season. Vilma is an impact player on the Saints' defense. What measurable impact does a full season suspension (or injury, like ...
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1answer
14k views

Which NFL teams have natural grass stadiums?

What percentage of NFL teams play on natural grass at their home stadium? How many are indoor versus outdoor fields? Please further breakdown the percentages for indoors and outdoors fields. When ...
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1answer
17k views

NFL division with 3 teams in the playoffs

Under the current NFL playoffs format, each conference sends 6 teams to the postseason: the 4 division champions and 2 wild card teams. So the most teams a division can have in the playoffs is 3; the ...
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1answer
352 views

Seattle Seahawks' Legion of Boom

I've heard commentators and analysts refer to Seattle Seahawks' defense as the "Legion of Boom". I believe they call the secondary that name, to be exact. What is the story behind this? When and how ...
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2answers
600 views

When did the NFL start using the Wonderlic test and how is it applied to the draft process?

I recently took a Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test at a job interview. It consisted of logic, mathematics and grammar. The NFL uses this exam as a part of their draft analysis. I can understand why I ...
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3answers
9k 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 ...
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Is it more common to score on a kickoff return or a punt return?

During the Super Bowl LI last night, the FOX commentators mentioned that a punt has never been returned for a touchdown during a Super Bowl. My first thought was of Desmond Howard in Super Bowl XXXI, ...
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1answer
797 views

If time expires does it still count against a down conversion rate?

Sorry for the bad title, didn't really know how to title it. If a team is 4-4 on 3rd down conversions, it is a 3rd down and time expires does that count against the conversion rate? Same for end of ...
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1answer
34k views

How is the location of the Super Bowl determined?

How is the location of the Super Bowl determined? What criteria must a prospective stadium/region meet in order to adequately host the Super Bowl? NOTE: Historically, Super Bowls that take place in "...
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2answers
285 views

Are 2016 Patriots the only Super Bowl Champions who never led during the game?

The New England Patriots beat Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI in overtime. During regulation they never led the game. The only time they ever led was at the end of the game. Does this make the ...
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1answer
824 views

Sports odds explanation for NFL

I'm looking at sports odds at for the first time and am a little confused. I understands that if ATS (against the spread) is negative, then the home team is predicted to win. Also, SP (spread) ...
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1answer
210 views

Why couldn't the referees cancel the timeout in the Jets game?

In this week's Jets-Packers game, the wrong person called a timeout from the sidelines (only the head coach is allowed). The referees played correctly, watching the field instead of who is calling ...
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1answer
351 views

Has the Super Bowl ever been played on the opening day of the Olympics?

Have the two events ever been simultaneous?
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1answer
2k views

Does a sack count as a Tackle For Loss, and/or a Tackle?

I like to look at player statistics, and I always see the Tackle stat, the Sack stat, and sometimes the Tackle For Loss stat. Is there some overlap in the stats so that a Sack counts as a Tackle? ie) ...
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1answer
95 views

NFL conference top seed hosting divisional round playoff game as an underdog

The Philadelphia Eagles hosted and beat the Atalanta Falcons on NFC's Divisional playoffs round of the 2017-18 NFL season. The eagles became the first top seed team since the 70's to host a playoff ...
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1answer
305 views

Are NFL teams disallowed from practising with NCAA teams?

Ignoring whether this would actually happen, is there any rule that would prohibit a NFL team or unit (OL, DL, etc.) from practising with a NCAA football team or unit? Would the NCAA consider it ...
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1answer
586 views

In American Football, why are fullbacks called such if they aren't all the way back from the OLine?

Maybe this question is outdated for modern football so I can delete if needed but why is the fullback called a fullback when they aren't all the way back from the O-line? I don't have a source on me ...
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2answers
4k views

Why doesn't Los Angeles have an NFL team?

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is the second largest metro area in the United States. It is big enough to support 2 NBA teams (Lakers and Clippers), 2 MLB teams (Dodgers and Angels), and 2 NHL ...
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1answer
97 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-...
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
112 views

How are referees so good at spotting penalties in real time?

I'm thinking about american football in particular, but this question could be applicable to other sports. When I'm watching a game on TV I've noticed the referees are typically very good about ...
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2answers
2k views

How is a penalty enforced on an extra point to end the half?

This happened recently in a high school game I was watching and it appeared that the referees did not know exactly how to enforce it. While this happened in a high school game, I am curious about the ...
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3answers
1k views

Guard eligibility to run the ball

Can a guard take a snap from the center if the QB or RB doesn't? Is the guard an eligible running back?
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4answers
2k views

3-4 outside linebacker vs. a 4-3 outside linebacker

It looks like a 3-4 outside linebacker is more of a standup DE with some additional duties that include playing in space. This position appears to be more of a 'point of attack' style position. A 4-3 ...
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2answers
794 views

What are the pass interference rules on a quarterback throwing a pass to self?

This may be a bit unanswerable but seeing if the community can come up with any historical conversations or rules. We have a quarterback boot we put into the playbook. The wide receivers are trips ...
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3answers
6k views

At what point does an Incompletion become a Fumble?

I was watching an American Football game the other day (can't remember which, but it was a re-run of an older game) and there were two incidences: The ball is snapped to the QB, he performs a fake ...
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1answer
329 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. ...
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1answer
16k views

NFL teams beating the same team 3 times in a season

As of the end of week 15 of 2016 season, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants have a chance of facing off in the playoffs. The Giants have dealt the Cowboys their only 2 losses of the season so ...
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2answers
19k views

Why can't you hurdle someone in high school football?

The high school star running back runs down the field, he gets to the 40, a man is in his way, so he takes a flying leap, clearing the defender, and resumes his sprint to the end zone. The referee's ...
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1answer
494 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 ...
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2answers
15k views

How does one play baseball and football (professionally) at the same time?

The question is pertinent because both sports are played professionally, simultaneously, in September. It came about, because the Texas Rangers "drafted" the Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in a ...
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2answers
998 views

Football equipment that can reduce risk of concussions

Concussions are becoming a major long-term health concern for participants in American football, particularly among youth and high school leagues, where equipment might not be as up to date as those ...
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1answer
2k views

Backward pass NFL

Why is a not caught Backward pass a fumble and not a incomplete pass? I know all the new rules about a complete pass and why a uncaught pass is incomplete and not a fumble. But I saw a droped backward ...
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1answer
6k views

Number 5 seeds hosting NFL conference championship game

Under the current format that 6 teams from each conference make it to the playoffs, how many times has a #5 seed hosted the conference championship game? In order for the #5 seed to host the game, ...
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1answer
359 views

Does NFL have substitute referees?

The line judge Sarah Thomas got hit during Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings game in week 16 of 2016 season. She was taken off the field for further evaluation. So given that she was not on the ...
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2answers
3k 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. ...
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2answers
10k views

When are (American) football teams likely to decline penalties?

In the first quarter of the Super Bowl, the Seahawks threw an incomplete pass on first down, leading to second down. Except that the offense had a "false start," for a five yard penalty. The Broncos ...

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