The NFL isn’t a league filled with robotic football players who all do the same things in every game. Every team has its playbook, its tendencies, and its style of play. What unites them all? Strategy. No matter how different they are, almost every team uses some sort of strategy to win each game.
You may not see it on a given Saturday afternoon, but there’s more going on than meets the eye. In this article, we explore some famous NFL strategies used by teams to gain an advantage over their opponent.
Run, Run, Pass
The “run, run, pass” strategy is the foundation of most offensive plays. As the name suggests, the first two plays are runs typically at the beginning of the game, or after a change of possession. After that, the team moves on to a couple of passing plays, followed by another run to get out of bounds if they’re in a hurry.
It’s a general offensive tactic used by all teams, although the exact plays may differ from team to team. The major advantage of this strategy is that it keeps the defence off-balance. They don’t know which play is coming next, so they’re less effective at stopping it.
Diving tackling is one of the most famous NFL strategies. It’s the act of throwing your body to the ground headfirst to tackle the ball carrier. It’s a high-risk, high-reward technique that can end up being incredibly effective, or incredibly embarrassing.
Diving tackles have a higher chance of getting you injured than regular tackles. If you’re going for the legs instead, you have just as much risk of injuring your opponent as you do of getting hurt. They can be incredibly effective if you’re the one making the tackle.
It’s best used when you’re behind the ball carrier, and there are other players on your team rushing to get to the same spot. They can also be useful when you’re being backed up against your goal line because you can use them to knock the ball loose before the runner can score.
End Around Play
An end-around play is a classic NFL strategy used by teams at all levels. It’s the first play of a half or the very first play of a game. This is because it’s a risky play: if it works, it’s a huge gain; if it fails, it’s a big loss. An end-around is when a player on the receiving end of a pass takes a couple of steps in one direction before turning around and running in the other direction.
This is designed to get the defence moving one way, only to have the ball carrier go in the other direction. There are two main types of end around: the fake end around and the actual end around. The fake end around (also known as the misdirection end around) is when the ball carrier pretends to go one way but then goes the other.
The actual end around is when the ball carrier really goes one way and then turns around to run the other way. The end around is a risky play, but if it works, it can be an extremely effective one.
The Hail Mary Pass
A Hail Mary pass is a famous NFL strategy with origins in American Football’s amateur days. In modern football, the Hail Mary pass (or just the Hail Mary) is a desperate last-ditch attempt to score by throwing the ball high and far.
The idea is that it will fall into the hands of one of your receivers, who will then have an easy walk-in touchdown. It’s a risky play that only works when you’re seriously behind in the game and have nothing to lose. That’s why it’s called the Hail Mary: you’re hoping and praying that it works. It’s a high-risk, high-reward play that only works when everything goes your way.
If the defence is expecting it, it’s incredibly easy to defend. If the ball lands too short, you have no chance of catching it. It is an interception if the ball lands too far. The Hail Mary is a desperate effort to get a touchdown when nothing else is working.
The Double Pass
The Double Pass is a famous NFL strategy where the team throws the ball to a receiver, who then throws the ball back to the quarterback. The idea is that the defence will expect a forward pass, and will be caught flat-footed when the receiver throws the ball back. While Double Passes are rare, they are legal.
The trick is that both passes have to be backwards, so the receiver has to throw the ball behind his head, and the quarterback has to be in the same general area. Double Passes are rare, but they happen and work, they can be incredibly effective.
They’re most often used in desperation when the quarterback and receiver have perfect chemistry. If you have that, it’s worth trying a Double Pass but don’t expect it to work every time.
The Fake Punt
The fake punt is a risky, but very effective NFL strategy. It happens when the punter pretends to punt the ball but then passes it to a member of the punt team. The players on the punt team (other than the punter) are fast players with good hands.
The purpose of the fake punt is to catch the other team off-guard; when the punter is one step away from kicking the ball, it’s hard to know if he’ll punt. This can lead to huge gains or turnovers. The best time to try a fake punt is when you’re behind in the game and need a boost.
The worst time to try one is when you’re already losing a lot of yards because you’ve been getting tackled too easily. The fake punt is risky, and if you’re not careful, you’re likely to give up more yards than you gain. It’s best to try it when the other team is expecting a punt.
To stay ahead of the competition, teams must constantly come up with new strategies to gain an edge over their rivals. The good news for football fans is that these strategies don’t just help teams win games, they also have a lot to teach us about business, marketing, and human behaviour. No matter what your favourite team or player might tell you, the NFL isn’t just about brute strength and masculine aggression.
It’s also one of the most strategic businesses in existence. As a fan, knowing what teams are best at outsmarting the rest could give you an edge on predictions or actual NFL betting. If you look past all the pads and the bruising tackles, you’ll notice that NFL players are some of the most tactical people on the planet. They know exactly how to use their surroundings and position to outwit their opponents.
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