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Football is an insanely popular game of speed, strength, strategy, and accuracy. To some people, it is a darn near religion, and service is held every Sunday in front of a flatscreen during the NFL season.  The purpose of football is to score more touchdowns (six points), field goals (3 points), and extra points (1 and 2 points)  than the other team while on the 100-yard football field. The fun and challenge of the sport are that you have got to be able to run, throw, tackle, and catch in spectacular ways in order to get the job done. Not a second of the game is easy and the chance to be knocked on your butt is always just inches away.

 

THERE ARE 32 FOOTBALL TEAMS

There are 32 Football teams. 16 are in the American Football Conference (AFC) and 16 are in the National Football Conference (NFC). Both conferences have four divisions with four teams in each.

 

THERE CAN BE AS MANY AS 53 FOOTBALL PLAYERS ON A TEAM, BUT ONLY 11 CAN BE ON THE FIELD

Each NFL football team can only have 11 players on the field during plays. However, a football team can have up to 53 players. 

 

A FOOTBALL FEILD IS 100 YARDS IN LENGTH

A football field is always said to be 100 yards in length, which is divided into ten-yard increments, and 53 and 1/3 yards wide. However, it is 120 yards in length when the two ten yard end zones are counted.

 

A FOOTBALL GAME IS SUPPOSED TO BE  72 MINUTES LONG, BUT IT NEVER IS 

A football game is has four 15 minute quarters (60 minutes) and a 12 minute half time, making an NFL football game 72 minutes in length. However the game is generally much longer than that because of time outs, the game clock stopping between plays,  and commercial breaks. 

 

EACH TEAM PLAYS 16 GAMES AND THERE ARE 10 PLAYOFF GAMES

Each team plays a total of 16 games during the regular season and 10 games are played during the postseason/playoffs. The last game of the playoffs is the NFL championship game– The Super Bowl, which is one of the most watched US sporting events. When all of the games bewteen all of the teams are counted, there are 256 games in total.

 

THE COIN TOSS AND THE FIRST KICKOFF

Each game begins with the coin toss and kickoff. During the coin toss, the captains from each team and a referee go to the center of the football field. While there, the visiting team has the choice to call heads or tails before the ref tosses a coin in the air. If the visiting team captain choose what side the coin lands on correctly, they can choose if they want to receive or kick the ball. If they get it wrong, the other team decides. Most times, the winner of the toss wants the chance to score first, so they choose to have the ball kicked to them.

POSSESIONS AND DOWNS

When a team gets possession of the ball, they have four tries, which are known as downs, to move the ball at least ten yards closer to the goal line. If they are able to move the ball at least ten years during those four downs/chances, the downs reset and they have four more chances to move the ball forward another ten yards.

TOUCHDOWNS, FEILD GOALS, AND EXTRA POINTS

When a team gets the ball into the other team’s in zone, they have scored a touchdown and receive 6 points.  After a touchdown is scored, the scoring team lines up ten yards behind the goal line where they have two choices: 1. Score a one-point conversion, which is a field goal from the 2-yard line and worth one point. 2. Score a two-point conversion, which is another touchdown from the 2 yard line that’s worth, you guessed it, two points.  They only have one chance to do either and no matter if they are successful or not the possession of the ball is turned over to the other team where the kicker must kicker kicks the ball down the field to the other team from the 20-yard line.

KICKOFF

The team who has scored the touch down and attempted the one or two point conversion, not matter if it is successful or not, must kick the ball to the other team from the 20 yard line.  The team was last on defense is now offense and must be ready to receive the ball. When they recive the ball,  three things can happen: 1 They catch the ball and try to run it as far as they can up the field. 2. they catch the ball behind the 20-yard line and take a knee. If they do that, they automatically being the next play at the 20-yard line.

There are 32 NFL football teams, that are divided equally between the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC). Each of those conferences has four divisions with four teams in each. In the AFC there is the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, and AFC West. In the NFC there is the NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, and NFC West.  

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

AFC EAST TEAMS

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

MIAMI DOLPHINS

BUFFALO BILLS

NEW YORK JETS

AFC NORTH TEAMS

BALTIMORE RAVENS

PITTSBURGH STEALERS

CLEVELAND BROWNS

CINCINATTI BANGLES

AFC SOUTH TEAMS

HOUSTON TEXANS

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

TENNESSEE TITANS

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

AFC WEST TEAMS

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

DENVER BRONCOS

OAKLAND RAIDERS

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

NFC EAST TEAMS

NY GIANTS

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

DALLAS COWBOYS

NFC NORTH TEAMS

CHICAGO BEARS

GREEN BAY PACKERS

DETROIT LIONS

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

NFC SOUTH TEAMS

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

ATLANTA FALCONS

CAROLINA PANTHERS

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

NFC WEST TEAMS

LOS ANGELES RAMS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ers

ARIZONA CARDINALS

TOUCHDOWN (6 POINTS)

Scoring a touchdown is the purpose of football, aside from winning the entire game, and offers six points, which is the most that can be scored during a single play. Touchdowns are scored when a player can cross the other team’s goal line with the ball. Any member of the opposing team can score a touchdown. 

FEILD GOAL (3 POINTS)

This is the second best way to score in football, is worth 3 points, and can only be scored by the team’s kicker. Field goals are scored by kicking the ball through the goal posts.  

SAFETY (2 POINTS)

Sometimes the offensive team must line up close to their own goal because of a bad touchback or general whack ball placement. If that is the case and they are tacked in their own goal, the defensive team scores a safety, which is two points. That is the only time points can be scored without having possession of the ball. 

Point Conversions

After scoring a touchdown, the offense must choose between two different point conversions (conversion is just a slick way to say try) to try to score more points by making a field goal or another touchdown.  This attempt cannot be declined. Even if it could be declined, no team would because it’s a way to score more points without having to run up and down the field again. It’s like a chance to win free money.

Extra Point Conversion (1 Point)

This super popular conversion is a field goal from the two-yard line that is worth one point. Unless a game is tight, you will most likely see these attempted. 

Two Point Conversion (2 Points)

For this conversion, the offesne team lines up at their opponent’s two-yard line to attempt to make another touchdown. If the offense is able to cross the goal line via a run or pass, they are awarded two more points, hence the two-point conversion label. 

Quaterback

The quarterback is considered to be the most important player on a football team. The quarterback controls the offense as soon as the center snaps/throws it to him at the very beginning of each play. Once the quarterback has the ball the offense runs through them and they can decide to throw the ball to a wide receiver or any other player, hand the ball off to a running back or any other player, or choose to run the ball their self, which has become increasingly popular over the past decade when it was once unheard of.

TAILBACK/HALFBACK

If you are a general football watcher, you may not have heard of the tailback/halfback. That’s because the tailback/halfback, along with the fullback, are generally known as running backs. The tailback/halfback stands directly behind the quarterback and can easily have the ball handed to them by the quarterback to try to run the ball forward for a first down or as much possible yardage as possible. The tailback/halfback must be very quick and able to pivot on the drop of the dime to boost the chance of blowing by the other team’s defense.

FULLBACK

The fullback is the other running back and is located either in front of or to the side of the tailback. Their job to block for the running back or run the ball themselves. Since they do blocking they are usually larger than the typical; running back.

WIDE RECEIVER

The wide receivers, also known as “wide outs,” are lined up closest to the line of scrimmage, making them the widest members of the formation. There are usually two of them on the field, but there can be as many five of them on the field, depending on what the formation calls for. Wide receivers must be fast runners with the ability to break away from defensive coverage as they run down the field to catch a pass. Needless to say, they must be phenomenal catchers with hands like glue so they can make easy or impossible catches.

TIGHT END

The tight end is a hybrid of a wide receiver and offensive lineman. There is usually one on the field at a time and lined up next to either the left or right tackle. They most often use their size and strength to block for the quarterback or wide receiver along with having the skills to receive the ball like a wide receiver.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE

The offensive line, also known as the “O Line” is kind of the defense that plays on offense. That’s because the purpose of the offensive line is to protect and defend the offensive players, such as the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers from the other team’s defense so they can score. A good defensive line is extremely important when a quarterback is a great passer but is not a dynamic athlete who can run from and didge coverage with ease.

CENTER

The center is at the exact center of the offense and stands right in front of the quarterback. They start every play by snapping the ball to the quarterback. After the ball is snapped to the quarterback, they are the heart of the offensive line and must block the defense from tacking the quarterback before they are able to throw of hand the ball off to another player.

GAURD

The guard is a member of the offensive line and their job is to block the defense from getting to the quarterback.  There are two guards, known as the left guard and right guard, and they stand on the opposite sides of the center.

CENTER

There are generally two tackles on the field and are known as the right tackle and left tackle because they line up on the right and left sides of the guards. As parts of the offensive line, they must block the defense from stopping the quarterback or other offensive players from completing their plays.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

There are two defensive tackles that stand side by side at the center of the defense. They are supposed to stop running backs from advancing and apply pressure on the quarterback in hopes of tackling him or forcing a pass.

DEFENSIVE END

Defensive tackles stand on opposite sides of the defensive tackles. Their job is to stop the running back from having successful carries and to pressure the quarterback on passing plays.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER

Fittingly, the middle linebacker is called that because not only is he in the middle of the defense, they are in the middle of everything. They are supposed to have the versatility to stop runs, protect against the pass, and also put pressure on the quarterback when needed.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER

The outside linebackers are behind the defensive ends and one ether side of the middle linebacker. They often blitz or perform pass coverage.

CORNERBACK

The cornerback is a fest, versatile defensive player who is the enemy of the pass. They often cover wide receivers with the intention of breaking up the pass or tackling pass catchers. Aside from that, they also have the speed needed to viciously try to sack the quarterback.

FREE SAFETY

The free safety is the player who is supposed to save the play if a running back, wide receiver, or any other offensive player gets a great play and breaks away from all other defensive players. The free safety is supposed to be the last line of defense.

STRONG SAFETY

The safety often covers the tight end or secondary wide receiver.

KICKER

Kicker this player is supposed to be an accurate and powerful with the ability to score points by kicking field goals or extra points.

PUNTER

This player has the job of kicking the ball to the other team after scoring a touchdown or failing to get a first down,

 

RETURN SPECIALIST

The offense must kick the ball to the other team after scoring a touchdown or to avoid blowing a fourth down, and the return specialist must catch the ball and use their speed to run the ball as far up the field as they can. The ultimate goal is to score a touch down, but that rarely happens.

 

LONG SNAPPER

Instead of a center, this player hikes the ball to the punter or kicker from a greater distance than a center would to a quarterback. After the ball is snapped the long snapper acts as a defensive lineman and protects the kicker from the defense so they can’t stop the punt, field goal, or extra point attempt. 

 

 

 

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