How the NFL Football Game is Played
The National Football League is an American professional football league based out of Fox Valley, Wisconsin. The National Football League consists of 32 teams, split evenly between the American Football Conference and the National Football Conference. One of the most famous teams in this league is the Green Bay Packers.
The NFL has a unique set of rules and terminology compared to other professional sports leagues. Unlike basketball and baseball, football has a completely different style of play, with more scoring opportunities and less blocking plays. Unlike basketball and baseball, football has special rules regarding the kicking of the ball. The object of the game is to score points by using the ball, rather than hitting the opposing team’s net or goal posts.
A typical NFL game is played on an eighty-yard field, with two twenty-four-yard end zones – the offense’s end zone and the defensive end zone – and three different sides of the field. The offense is given the ball, which is carried by either a quarterback or a running back. Usually the offense lines are behind the goal line, but some teams line up in the nickel formation, and some in the regular formation. On offense, the offensive players are allowed to use their hands, arms, and legs to try to put the ball into the end zone carrier’s hands. However, there is a penalty for offensive pass blocking, which is enforced when a defensive player intercepts the football before it gets to the goal post or the designated receiver. This offensive penalty, called a “pick” or “pick-off”, negates the team’s first chance at a point during the game.
Another offensive skill that teams need to know about is the kick return. When a team receives the football from the offense and then returns it on the same side of the field, a touchdown is scored. The opposite defense then picks off the ball and takes a lead for the other team. If there is no turnover with the pick-off attempt, another offense points to a possible future touchdown, called an “extra point”.
The defense does not start the ball carrier until the ball has been kicked out from the end zone. Once the ball has been launched into the end zone, the defense players are allowed to engage in any action with the ball except for holding the ball. Holding the ball gives the defense an illegal block attempt which is punishable by a foul call by the referee. Failing to leave the foul-tackle area and make a play with the ball will result in a loss of yardage and a time-out by the offense.
When the offense is on the field and within range of the end zone, a simultaneous free throw attempt may be made by the quarterback or any member of the offensive crew. If a successful completion to the pass is made, two points are awarded to the offense. If two points are awarded, then the score is renewed and a new point system put in place.
Each offense has seven offensive plays, each play needing to be completed in order for a team to have a chance at scoring points. Within each play, there are one offensive goal post and two goal posts for the defense. The offense attempts to either get the ball into the end zone, or kick it out to their opponents’ end zone.
Unlike the kicking game, the ball must make it past one of the goal posts before being able to be kicked off. If the ball does make it past one of the goal posts, the defense can tackle the ball carrier so that they cannot return it to the offense. Once the ball is kicked out of the end zone, the defensive players may block the return in order to keep the ball from being placed back in the end zone. This keeps the offense from being able to take a possible scores at the end of the half.