Tomorrow is the Super Bowl and the match-up is set as the New England Patriots will take on the defending champion Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Football fans are among the most passionate in the world and they know this game inside and out. When the conversation gets going, you want to make sure that you’re in the loop with everything that’s going on. Here are a few basics to get you started…

 

Scoring:

  • Touchdown (6 points) = a six-point score that is obtained by carrying or passing the football into the end zone of the opposing team, or by recovering it following a fumble or blocked kick.
  • Field Goal (3 points) = a three-point score that is obtained by kicking the football through the field goal post of the opposing team.
  • Safety (2 points) = a two-point score that is obtained when the defense tackles the ball carrier in the offense’s end zone or when an offensive player fumbles the ball out of their own end zone
  • Extra Point (1 point) = a one-point score that is obtained after a successful nineteen-yard field goal after a touchdown is scored.

 

Dimensions of the Field:

  • A football field is 120 yards long (100 yards of actual playing field, excluding end zones)
  • Two 10-yard end zones at the beginning and end of the field
  •  Width of the field is 53.3 yards

 

Offense:

  • Each team is given four downs to advance the ball ten or more yards… i.e. four downs in exchange for 10 or more yards.
  • If that team does advance the ball within those four downs, they get another four downs to try and achieve the same feat. If successful, repeat
  • —-Side note:  Typically teams will only use three of those downs. On fourth down, the offense will usually kick the ball away to the defense to keep them further away from their end zone. The offense will also attempt a field goal if they are close enough.
  • Forward passes are only allowed behind the line of scrimmage (where the ball is placed at the beginning of each play). COOL! And HARD

 

Defense:

  • Blitz: When one or more linebacker/defensive back charge towards the offensive line of scrimmage to create pressure on the quarterback or running back on the offensive side of the ball
  • Fumble: When the ball carrier on offense loses control of the football while running with it. If the defensive team recovers, then they go on offense.
  • Interception: When the quarterback of the offensive team throws a pass that is caught by a member of the defensive team. In turn, the defensive team now has possession of the ball and goes on offense.
  • Sack: When a defensive player tackles the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage

 

Penalties:

  • False Start (5 yard PENALTY) : One of the players on offense moves before the quarterback says “hike”
  • Encroachment (5 yards) : One of the players on defense moves across the line of scrimmage before the quarterback says “hike
  • Holding: There is holding for both offensive and defensive players
  • —Offensive (10 yards) – This is typically a penalty called on offensive linemen for grabbing the jersey of an opposing defender. Can be called on anyone that is on the field but it is typically called on linemen, receivers and tight ends.
  • —Defensive (5 yards) – This is typically a penalty called on defensive backs for grabbing the jersey of a receiver on the offense. Also can be called on anyone that is on the field, but typically called on defensive backs and linebackers.
  • Pass Interference (ball placed at the spot of the foul): Very similar to defensive holding, but this is called when the defender impedes the receiver’s effort to catch the ball. A defender can contest a pass thrown his way, but not make any significant contact with the receiver.
  • Personal Fouls (15 yards) :
  • —Roughing the Passer: Defensive player hits the quarterback well after a pass has been thrown. Can also be result of a defender accidentally hitting the QB in the head or going after his knees.
  • —Grabbing the Facemask: Simply put, when a defender grabs the mask on an offender’s helmet, bringing them to the ground in a violent manner.
  • —Targeting the Head: When a defender hits an offensive player directly the head. This call has been the subject of much debate recently because of the fast-paced nature of the game and whether or not the defender can actually control where he hits the offensive player.
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