Sports

A Beginner’s Guide to Football

By: Camila Angola

 

Fall, also known as football season, comes with the fun of supporting your favorite NFL team and watching games all week long.  However, if you are still unsure about the difference between American football and fútbol, the football season doesn’t mean much to you.  Here is a quick guide to get you in the loop, so that you too can talk about football like a pro, and will not have to awkwardly feign interest when everyone else is talking about last night’s game.

The first step is to understand the positions of players on a football team.  Let’s start with the offensive positions.  The center, guards and tackles; their job is mainly to block the opposing team.  The center is in charge of snapping the ball to the quarterback and blocking.  Behind the offensive players are the quarterback, wide receiver and tight end.  The job of the wide receiver is to catch the passes thrown by the quarterback, while the tight end (who can be both a receiver and a blocker) lines up outside of the offensive line.  The most important position on the offensive side is the quarterback; they are responsible for knowing the plays and deciding whether to hand the ball off, throw it, or run with it.

Next is the defensive unit.  The defense can be split up into two groups – the defensive line and the defensive backfield.  The defensive line consists of defensive tackles and defensive ends.  The defensive backfield is made of cornerbacks and safety.  The overall goal of the defensive unit is to stop the other team from scoring by using turnovers or tackling.  All of these positions are an important part of the game, and knowledge of them can be a quick way to join in on a football conversation.  But it is also important to understand how the scoring system works.

Points are scored by moving the ball into the opposing team’s end zone, either with a touchdown or by kicking the ball into the other’s team goalpost.  A touchdown is worth 6 points.  After a touchdown the team has a single scoring opportunity, typically known as the PAT (points after touchdown).  This opportunity is worth either one point or two points depending on what the team chooses to do.  So there you have it— a basic understanding of football: the positions and the scoring system.  Now to really test your understanding, here are a few upcoming games to watch:

Knowing what teams are playing doesn’t count for much though, if you don’t know a couple of players, the following of whom are from the NFL’s top 100 players of 2017.

Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, is number one on the NFL’s top 100 list.  Brady is one of two players to win five Super Bowls; the only player to do so with the same team.  Von Miller a linebacker for the Denver Broncos, is number two.  Miller along with the rest of the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl 50.  In third place, is Julio Jones a wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons.  Back in 2011, he ran the third fastest 40 yard-dash among receivers with a broken foot.  And the fourth player on this list is Antonio Brown, a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Brown has made a name of himself due to his ability to catch any pass thrown at him with grace.

Congratulations! You now know the very basics of football, and in no time you will be able to talk about football to anyone from the star quarterback at school to your neighbor.

 

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