American football nfl

american football nfl

NFL-News zum American Football Aktuelle Neuigkeiten, Fotos, Bildergalerien. Die Team-Besitzer der NFL zögerten aber noch, sich mit eine neue Liga, die American Football League (AFL). American Football NFL (USA) Playoffs - Ergebnisse u. Tabelle: alle Paarungen und Termine der Runde. Dies müssen sie bis zu einem Stichtag im Vorfeld des Draft bekanntgeben, eine Rückkehr zum College Football ist dann allerdings ausgeschlossen. Wir verraten Ihnen, wer dieses Jahr auftritt und was Sie in der Pause sonst noch alles erwartet. Die Franchise hat ganz dfl supercup die Suche nach einem neuen Kicker begonnen. Die Fernsehquoten sind ebenso gigantisch wie das Medieninteresse. Maximal zdf champions Spieler dürfen Mitglied des Practice Squads sein. Die kostenlose ran App. Nach den derzeitigen Regeln darf eine Mannschaft nie mehr als 90 Spieler unter Vertrag haben. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Aufgrund creature from the black lagoon casino tägigen Streiks was ist besser online casino oder Spieler musste die Saison allerdings auf neun Spieltage verkürzt werden. Um da hinzukommen, versucht die angreifende Mannschaft ab der Line of Scrimmage die geant casino frejus ouvert dimanche den Punkt an, bis wohin sich die Offense bisher vorgekämpft hat innerhalb von vier Spielzügen 10 Yards zu überwinden. Die neue Saison der NFL läuft an. Steelers gehen Baustellen an Die Steelers wollen zwei Personalien klären.

In , the league added a second wild card team from each conference, bringing the total number of playoff teams to ten, and a further two wild card teams were added in to bring the total to twelve.

When the NFL expanded to 32 teams in , the league realigned, changing the division structure from three divisions in each conference to four divisions in each conference.

As each division champion gets a playoff bid, the number of wild card teams from each conference dropped from three to two. At the corporate level, the National Football League considers itself a trade association made up of and financed by its 32 member teams.

The NFL gave up the tax exempt status in following public criticism; in a letter to the club owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell labeled it a "distraction", saying "the effects of the tax exempt status of the league office have been mischaracterized repeatedly in recent years Every dollar of income generated through television rights fees, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there.

This will remain the case even when the league office and Management Council file returns as taxable entities, and the change in filing status will make no material difference to our business.

The league has three defined officers: Each conference has one defined officer, the president, which is essentially an honorary position with few powers and mostly ceremonial duties such as awarding the conference championship trophy.

The commissioner is elected by affirmative vote of two-thirds or 18 whichever is greater of the members of the league, while the president of each conference is elected by an affirmative vote of three-fourths or ten of the conference members.

He is the "principal executive officer " [40] of the NFL and also has authority in hiring league employees, negotiating television contracts, disciplining individuals that own part or all of an NFL team, clubs, or employed individuals of an NFL club if they have violated league bylaws or committed "conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League or professional football".

The commissioner can also issue sanctions up to and including a lifetime ban from the league if an individual connected to the NFL has bet on games or failed to notify the league of conspiracies or plans to bet on or fix games.

By redistributing profits to all teams the NFL is ensuring that one team will not dominate the league through excessive earnings.

The NFL consists of 32 clubs divided into two conferences of 16 teams in each. Each conference is divided into four divisions of four clubs in each.

During the regular season, each team is allowed a maximum of 53 players on its roster; [43] only 46 of these may be active eligible to play on game days.

A player can only be on a practice squad for a maximum of three seasons. Each NFL member has the exclusive right to host professional football games inside its Home Territory and the exclusive right to advertise, promote, and host events in its Home Marketing Area.

There are several exceptions to this rule, mostly relating to teams with close proximity to each other: New York City and Los Angeles or the same state e.

The 32 teams are organized into eight geographic divisions of four teams each. These divisions are further organized into two conferences, the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference.

The two-conference structure has its origins in a time when major American professional football was organized into two independent leagues, the National Football League and its younger rival, the American Football League.

Currently, the thirteen opponents each team faces over the game regular season schedule are set using a pre-determined formula: Since , the season has begun the week after Labor Day first Monday in September and concluded the week after Christmas.

Most NFL games are played on Sundays, with a Monday night game typically held at least once a week and Thursday night games occurring on most weeks as well.

Because high school and college teams typically play games on Friday and Saturday, respectively, the NFL cannot hold games on those days until the third Friday in December.

While Saturday games late in the season are common, the league rarely holds Friday games, the most recent one being on Christmas Day in NFL regular season matchups are determined according to a scheduling formula.

Within a division, all four teams play fourteen out of their sixteen games against common opponents — two games home and away are played against the other three teams in the division, while one game is held against all the members of a division from the NFC and a division from the AFC as determined by a rotating cycle three years for the conference the team is in, and four years in the conference they are not in.

The other two games are intraconference games, determined by the standings of the previous year — for example, if a team finishes first in its division, it will play two other first-place teams in its conference, while a team that finishes last would play two other last-place teams in the conference.

After arriving at what they felt was the best schedule out of the group, nearly 50 more potential schedules were developed to try and ensure that the chosen schedule would be the best possible one.

Following the conclusion of the regular season, the NFL Playoffs, a twelve-team single elimination tournament, is then held. Six teams are selected from each conference: These teams are seeded according to overall record, with the division champions always ranking higher than either of the wild card teams.

The winners of the Wild Card round advance to the Divisional Round, which matches the lower seeded team against the first seed and the higher seeded team against the second seed.

The winners of those games then compete in the Conference Championships, with the higher remaining seed hosting the lower remaining seed.

Since , the Pro Bowl has been held the week before the Super Bowl ; in previous years, the game was held the week following the Super Bowl, but in an effort to boost ratings, the game was moved to the week before.

The Pro Bowl is not considered as competitive as a regular-season game because the biggest concern of teams is to avoid injuries to the players.

The National Football League has used three different trophies to honor its champion over its existence. The trophy, the appearance of which is only known by its description as a "silver loving cup", was intended to be a traveling trophy and not to become permanent until a team had won at least three titles.

The league awarded it to the Akron Pros, champions of the inaugural season; however, the trophy was discontinued and its current whereabouts are unknown.

In addition to the main trophy, which would be in the possession of the current league champion, the league issued a smaller replica trophy to each champion, who would maintain permanent control over it.

The winning team chooses the company that makes the rings; each ring design varies, with the NFL mandating certain ring specifications which have a degree of room for deviation , in addition to requiring the Super Bowl logo be on at least one side of the ring.

The conference champions receive trophies for their achievement. Players on the winning team also receive a conference championship ring.

Collectively, these contracts cover every regular season and postseason game. These afternoon games are not carried on all affiliates, as multiple games are being played at once; each network affiliate is assigned one game per time slot, according to a complicated set of rules.

The league also provides RedZone , an omnibus telecast that cuts to the most relevant plays in each game, live as they happen.

In addition to the regional games, the league also has packages of telecasts, mostly in prime time, that are carried nationwide.

In addition, 10 of the Thursday night games will be streamed live on Amazon Prime. In , the NFL games occupied the top three rates for a second advertisement: NFL regular season games accounted for 31 out of the top 32 most-watched programs in the fall season and an NFL game ranked as the most-watched television show in all 17 weeks of the regular season.

These games are broadcast on over networks, giving all NFL markets access to each primetime game. Some broadcasting innovations have either been introduced or popularized during NFL telecasts.

The game was live streamed on the Internet exclusively via Yahoo! In , the NFL began sponsoring a series of public service announcements to bring attention to domestic abuse and sexual assault in response to what was seen as poor handling of incidents of violence by players.

The draft consists of seven rounds, with each of the 32 clubs getting one pick in each round. For example, any team that reached the divisional round will be given a higher pick than any team that reached the conference championships, but will be given a lower pick than any team that did not make the divisional round.

The Super Bowl champion always drafts last, and the losing team from the Super Bowl always drafts next-to-last. Aside from the 32 picks each club gets, compensatory draft picks are given to teams that have lost more compensatory free agents than they have gained.

These are spread out from rounds 3 to 7, and a total of 32 are given. If they fail to do so on time, the clubs behind them can begin to select their players in order, but they do not lose the pick outright.

This happened in the draft , when the Minnesota Vikings failed to make their selection on time. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers were able to make their picks before the Vikings were able to use theirs.

Contracts themselves are limited to a certain amount of money, depending on the exact draft pick the player was selected with. The league holds a supplemental draft annually.

Clubs submit emails to the league stating the player they wish to select and the round they will do so, and the team with the highest bid wins the rights to that player.

The exact order is determined by a lottery held before the draft, and a successful bid for a player will result in the team forfeiting the rights to its pick in the equivalent round of the next NFL draft.

Like the other major sports leagues in the United States , the NFL maintains protocol for a disaster draft. Neither of these protocols has ever had to be implemented.

Free agents in the National Football League are divided into restricted free agents , who have three accrued seasons and whose current contract has expired, and unrestricted free agents , who have four or more accrued seasons and whose contract has expired.

If they choose not to, they are compensated with draft picks. Unrestricted free agents are free to sign with any club, and no compensation is owed if they sign with a different club.

Clubs are given one franchise tag to offer to any unrestricted free agent. There are two types of franchise tags: Clubs also have the option to use a transition tag , which is similar to the non-exclusive franchise tag but offers no compensation if the former club refuses to match the offer.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Professional American football league. For other leagues of the same name, see National Football League disambiguation.

For other uses, see NFL disambiguation. History of the National Football League. List of National Football League seasons.

History of the NFL Commissioner. List of defunct National Football League franchises. National Football League preseason. List of National Football League awards.

National Football League trophies and awards. National Football League on television. List of current National Football League broadcasters.

National Football League Draft. Retrieved December 31, This meeting resulted in the formation of the American Professional Football Conference.

Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved January 30, Archived from the original on January 29, Retrieved June 11, Retrieved November 28, Retrieved February 17, Professional Football Researchers Association.

Archived from the original PDF on February 6, Retrieved February 7, Retrieved June 21, A city cursed with bad sports luck".

Archived from the original on July 29, Retrieved January 16, Retrieved July 9, Retrieved June 29, Archived from the original PDF on September 29, Retrieved February 9, Encyclopedia of African American History, to the Present: From the Age of Segregation to the Twenty-first Century.

Duane January 22, Archived from the original on February 15, Retrieved February 15, Retrieved February 14, Encyclopedia of International Sports Studies.

The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, The primary role of the halfback, also known as the running back or tailback, is to carry the ball on running plays.

Halfbacks may also serve as receivers. Fullbacks tend to be larger than halfbacks and function primarily as blockers, but they are sometimes used as runners in short-yardage situations [48] and are seldom used in passing situations.

The offensive line OL consists of several players whose primary function is to block members of the defensive line from tackling the ball carrier on running plays or sacking the quarterback on passing plays.

The principal receivers are the wide receivers WR and the tight ends TE. The main goal of the wide receiver is to catch passes thrown by the quarterback, [48] but they may also function as decoys or as blockers during running plays.

Tight ends line up outside the tackles and function both as receivers and as blockers. The role of the defense is to prevent the offense from scoring by tackling the ball carrier or by forcing turnovers interceptions or fumbles.

Defensive ends line up on the ends of the line, while defensive tackles line up inside, between the defensive ends.

The primary responsibilities of defensive ends and defensive tackles is to stop running plays on the outside and inside, respectively, to pressure the quarterback on passing plays, and to occupy the line so that the linebackers can break through.

Linebackers line up behind the defensive line but in front of the defensive backfield. They are divided into two types: Linebackers are the defensive leaders and call the defensive plays.

Their diverse roles include defending the run, pressuring the quarterback, and guarding backs, wide receivers and tight ends in the passing game. The defensive backfield , often called the secondary, consists of cornerbacks CB and safeties S.

Safeties are themselves divided into free safeties FS and strong safeties SS. Safeties are the last line of defense, and are responsible for stopping deep passing plays as well as running plays.

The special teams unit is responsible for all kicking plays. Three positions are specific to the field goal and PAT point-after-touchdown unit: There is not usually a holder on kickoffs, because the ball is kicked off of a tee; however, a holder may be used in certain situations, such as if wind is preventing the ball from remaining upright on the tee.

The player on the receiving team who catches the ball is known as the kickoff returner KR. The positions specific to punt plays are the punter P , long snapper, upback and gunner.

The long snapper snaps the football directly to the punter, who then drops and kicks it before it hits the ground.

Gunners line up split outside the line and race down the field, aiming to tackle the punt returner PR — the player that catches the punt.

Upbacks line up a short distance behind the line of scrimmage, providing additional protection to the punter. In American football, the winner is the team that has scored the most points at the end of the game.

There are multiple ways to score in a football game. The touchdown TD , worth six points, is the most valuable scoring play in American football.

A touchdown is scored when a live ball is advanced into, caught in, or recovered in the end zone of the opposing team.

A PAT is most commonly attempted from the two- or three-yard line, depending on the level of play. If scored by a placekick or dropkick through the goal posts, it is worth one point, and is typically called the extra point.

In such a case, a successful attempt is called the two-point conversion [55] and is worth two points. For the season, the NFL adopted a rules on PATs that stated during an extra point the placekick must be snapped from the yard line and on extra points if the kick is blocked and the opposing team returns it into the end zone or if during a two-point conversion the ball is fumbled or intercepted and returned to the end zone the opposing team will score two points.

No points are awarded on a failed extra point or two-point conversion attempt, although under a rare set of circumstances it is possible to score a safety, worth one point, if the defense takes the ball back into its own end zone and is downed there.

A safety is scored when the ball carrier is tackled in their own end zone. Safeties are worth two points, which are awarded to the defense. Lines marked along the ends and sides of the field are known respectively as the end lines and sidelines , and goal lines are marked 10 yards 9.

Weighted pylons are placed on the inside corner of the intersections of the goal lines and end lines. White markings on the field identify the distance from the end zone.

Inbound lines, or hash marks , are short parallel lines that mark off 1 yard 0. Yard lines , which can run the width of the field, are marked every 5 yards 4.

A one-yard-wide line is placed at each end of the field; this line is marked at the center of the two-yard line in professional play and at the three-yard line in college play.

Numerals that display the distance from the closest goal line in yards are placed on both sides of the field every ten yards. Goalposts are located at the center of the plane of each of the two end lines.

The crossbar of these posts is ten feet 3. Goal posts are padded at the base, and orange ribbons are normally placed at the tip of each upright.

The football itself is an oval ball, similar to the balls used in rugby or Australian rules football. Football games last for a total of 60 minutes in professional and college play and are divided into two-halves of 30 minutes and four-quarters of 15 minutes.

The losing team, unless the winning team decides to defer, is allowed to choose the option the winning team did not select, and receives the option to receive, kick, or select a goal to defend to begin the second half.

Most teams choose to receive or defer, because choosing to kick the ball to start the game would allow the other team to choose which goal to defend.

Games last longer than their defined length due to play stoppages — the average NFL game lasts slightly over three hours. An operator is responsible for starting, stopping and operating the game clock based on the direction of the appropriate official.

If the play clock expires before the ball has been snapped or free-kicked, a delay of game foul is called on the offense.

The play clock is set to 40 seconds in professional and college football and to 25 seconds in high school play or following certain administrative stoppages in the former levels of play.

There are two main ways that the offense can advance the ball: In a typical play, the quarterback calls the play, and the center passes the ball backwards and under their legs to the quarterback in a process known as the snap.

The quarterback then either hands the ball off to a back, throws the ball or runs with it. The play ends when the player with the ball is tackled or goes out of bounds, or a pass hits the ground without a player having caught it.

A forward pass can only be legally attempted if the passer is behind the line of scrimmage, and only one forward pass can be attempted per down.

The offense is given a series of four plays, known as downs. If the offense advances ten or more yards in the four downs, they are awarded a new set of four downs.

If they fail to advance ten yards, possession of the football is turned over to the defense. In most situations, if the offense reaches their fourth down they will punt the ball to the other team, which forces them to begin their drive from further down the field; if they are in field goal range , they might also attempt to score a field goal.

There are two categories of kicks in football: On a kickoff, the ball is placed at the yard line of the kicking team in professional and college play and at the yard line in high school play.

The ball may be drop-kicked or place-kicked. If a place kick is chosen, the ball can be placed on the ground or on a tee, and a holder may be used in either case.

On a safety kick, the kicking team kicks the ball from their own yard line. They can punt, drop-kick or place-kick the ball, but a tee may not be used in professional play.

Any member of the receiving team may catch or advance the ball, and the ball may be recovered by the kicking team once it has gone at least ten yards and has touched the ground or has been touched by any member of the receiving team.

The three types of scrimmage kicks are place kicks, drop kicks, and punts. Only place kicks and drop kicks can score points. If it is touched or recovered by the kicking team beyond this line, it becomes dead at the spot where it was touched.

This prohibits the defense from blocking into or tackling the receiver, but the play ends as soon as the ball is caught and the ball may not be advanced.

Officials are responsible for enforcing game rules and monitoring the clock. All officials carry a whistle and wear black-and-white striped shirts and black hats except for the referee, whose hat is white.

Each carries a weighted yellow flag that is thrown to the ground to signal that a foul has been called. An official who spots multiple fouls will throw their hat as a secondary signal.

Another set of officials, the chain crew , are responsible for moving the chains. The chains, consisting of two large sticks with a yard-long chain between them, are used to measure for a first down.

The chain crew stays on the sidelines during the game, but if requested by the officials they will briefly bring the chains on to the field to measure.

A typical chain crew will have at least three people — two members of the chain crew will hold either of the two sticks, while a third will hold the down marker.

The down marker, a large stick with a dial on it, is flipped after each play to indicate the current down, and is typically moved to the approximate spot of the ball.

The chain crew system has been used for over years and is considered to be an accurate measure of distance, rarely subject to criticism from either side.

Football is a full-contact sport, and injuries are relatively common. Most injuries occur during training sessions, particularly ones that involve contact between players.

At a minimum players must wear a football helmet and a set of shoulder pads , but individual leagues may require additional padding such as thigh pads and guards, knee pads, chest protectors, and mouthguards.

The most common types of injuries are strains , sprains , bruises , fractures, dislocations , and concussions. More specifically, each year a player played tackle football under age 12 predicted earlier onset of cognitive, behavioral, and mood problems by an average of two and a half years.

College football is the third-most popular sport in the United States, behind professional baseball and professional football. High school football is the most popular sport in the United States played by boys; over 1.

The NFHS is the largest organization for high school football, with member associations in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

USA Football is the governing body for youth and amateur football, [] and Pop Warner Little Scholars is the largest organization for youth football.

Several professional football leagues have been formed as rival leagues to the NFL. An earlier league, the All-America Football Conference , was in play from to Other attempts to start rival leagues have been far less successful.

The World Football League WFL played for two seasons, in and , but faced monetary issues so severe that the league could not pay its players.

In its second and final season the WFL attempted to establish a stable credit rating, but the league disbanded before its second season could be completed.

American football leagues exist throughout the world, but the game has yet to achieve the international success and popularity of baseball and basketball.

All of these countries rank far below the United States, which is dominant at the international level. Football is not an Olympic sport , but it was a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics.

American football also has the issue of global visibility. Professional football has ranked as the most popular sport in the poll since , when it surpassed baseball for the first time.

In a study, the NCAA estimated there were around 1. American football also plays a significant role in American culture. The day on which the Super Bowl is held is considered a de facto national holiday , [] and in parts of the country like Texas , the sport has been compared to a religion.

Merit is rewarded, not punished. Masculinity is celebrated, not feminized. People of various beliefs and backgrounds — a melting pot, if you will — must unify for a common goal for the team to be successful".

The safety of the sport has also sparked national controversy in American popular culture. It is often received as "overly aggressive", and defamiliarized in popular culture.

Bennet Omalu , a neuropathologist who was the first to discover and publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy CTE. American football was the second-most popular sport in Mexico in the s, with the game being particularly popular in colleges.

American football is the fifth most popular sport in Mexico and the country has the highest rating of the NFL outside the United States. Japan was introduced to the sport in by Paul Rusch , a teacher and Christian missionary who helped establish football teams at three universities in Tokyo.

Play was halted during World War II, but began to grow in popularity again after the war. As of [update] , there are more than high school football teams in Japan, with over 15, participants, and over teams play in the Kantoh Collegiate Football Association KCFA.

Europe is a major target for expansion of the game by football organizers. In the United Kingdom in the s, the sport was fairly popular, with the Super Bowl being watched by over 4 million people about 1 out of every 14 Britons.

Super Bowl viewership has also rebounded, with over 4. The sport is played in European countries such as Switzerland, which has American football clubs in every major city, [] and Germany, where the sport has around 45, registered amateur players.

But in these countries American football has not yet reached the same level of popularity it has, for example, in North America. Rumors were that a Pro Bowl edition could be held there.

One of the reasons of that boom in audience is the placekicker of Kansas City Chiefs , Cairo Santos , the first Brazilian player to reach some worldwide success in the sport.

To , a strongest league will get start in June, including 32 teams around the country, in 4 conferences. In other countries of South America there was a very important evolution with regard to American Football.

In was begun the practice of this sport in Argentina. Currently there are three American Football Leagues in that country: In addition there are teams in the formation stage in several provinces, such as in the province of Santa Fe.

Canadian football , the predominant form of football in Canada, is closely related to American football — both sports developed from rugby, and the two sports are considered to be the chief variants of gridiron football.

Punting is illegal, and kickoffs are attempted from the goal line. Large overhead nets deflect forward passes and kicks that hit them, and deflected kicks are live balls that may be recovered by either team.

Like in arena football, teams in indoor football leagues play in arenas, but games are only attended by a small number of fans, and most players are semi-professional athletes.

Indoor football leagues are unstable, with franchises regularly moving from one league to another or merging with other teams, and teams or entire leagues dissolving entirely.

There are several non-contact variants of American football, such as flag football. A game of touch football may require that the player be touched with either one or two hands to be considered down, depending on the rules used.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the American variation of gridiron football. For a broader usage of the name, see American football disambiguation.

Larry Fitzgerald in blue catches a pass while Cortland Finnegan in red plays defense at the Pro Bowl. Team sport ball game.

Football leather prolate spheroid Football helmet Pads shoulder and knee. History of American football. Official American football , Chain crew , and Penalty gridiron football.

American football protective equipment , Concussions in American football , and Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. American football in the United States.

Canadian football , Arena football , and Flag football. American football strategy College football Comparison of American football and rugby union Comparison of American football and rugby league Concussions in American football Fantasy football American Glossary of American football List of American football players List of American football stadiums by capacity List of leagues of American and Canadian football Pro Football Hall of Fame Steroid use in American football.

Retrieved January 14, Retrieved July 13, Retrieved April 19, Retrieved June 28, American football in coastal Australia". Archived from the original on September 24, Retrieved November 24, Professional Football Researchers Association.

First football game was May 14, ". Archived from the original on January 2, New England Historical Society.

Retrieved January 3, As a senior at Yale, Camp prevailed at Massasoit House and cut the number of players to 11 from That year [] he also came up with the idea for a static line of scrimmage.

National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original on April 30, Archived from the original PDF on September 28, Retrieved November 25, Archived from the original on January 15,

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Individual players in a football game must be designated with a uniform number between 1 and NFL teams are required to number their players by a league-approved numbering system, and any exceptions must be approved by the Commissioner.

The role of the offensive unit is to advance the football down the field with the ultimate goal of scoring a touchdown.

The offensive team must line up in a legal formation before they can snap the ball. An offensive formation is considered illegal if there are more than four players in the backfield or fewer than five players numbered 50—79 on the offensive line.

Interior offensive linemen are not allowed to move until the snap of the ball. The quarterback is the leader of the offense. Either the quarterback or a coach calls the plays.

Quarterbacks typically inform the rest of the offense of the play in the huddle before the team lines up.

The quarterback lines up behind the center to take the snap and then hands the ball off, throws it or runs with it. The primary role of the halfback, also known as the running back or tailback, is to carry the ball on running plays.

Halfbacks may also serve as receivers. Fullbacks tend to be larger than halfbacks and function primarily as blockers, but they are sometimes used as runners in short-yardage situations [48] and are seldom used in passing situations.

The offensive line OL consists of several players whose primary function is to block members of the defensive line from tackling the ball carrier on running plays or sacking the quarterback on passing plays.

The principal receivers are the wide receivers WR and the tight ends TE. The main goal of the wide receiver is to catch passes thrown by the quarterback, [48] but they may also function as decoys or as blockers during running plays.

Tight ends line up outside the tackles and function both as receivers and as blockers. The role of the defense is to prevent the offense from scoring by tackling the ball carrier or by forcing turnovers interceptions or fumbles.

Defensive ends line up on the ends of the line, while defensive tackles line up inside, between the defensive ends.

The primary responsibilities of defensive ends and defensive tackles is to stop running plays on the outside and inside, respectively, to pressure the quarterback on passing plays, and to occupy the line so that the linebackers can break through.

Linebackers line up behind the defensive line but in front of the defensive backfield. They are divided into two types: Linebackers are the defensive leaders and call the defensive plays.

Their diverse roles include defending the run, pressuring the quarterback, and guarding backs, wide receivers and tight ends in the passing game.

The defensive backfield , often called the secondary, consists of cornerbacks CB and safeties S. Safeties are themselves divided into free safeties FS and strong safeties SS.

Safeties are the last line of defense, and are responsible for stopping deep passing plays as well as running plays.

The special teams unit is responsible for all kicking plays. Three positions are specific to the field goal and PAT point-after-touchdown unit: There is not usually a holder on kickoffs, because the ball is kicked off of a tee; however, a holder may be used in certain situations, such as if wind is preventing the ball from remaining upright on the tee.

The player on the receiving team who catches the ball is known as the kickoff returner KR. The positions specific to punt plays are the punter P , long snapper, upback and gunner.

The long snapper snaps the football directly to the punter, who then drops and kicks it before it hits the ground. Gunners line up split outside the line and race down the field, aiming to tackle the punt returner PR — the player that catches the punt.

Upbacks line up a short distance behind the line of scrimmage, providing additional protection to the punter.

In American football, the winner is the team that has scored the most points at the end of the game. There are multiple ways to score in a football game.

The touchdown TD , worth six points, is the most valuable scoring play in American football. A touchdown is scored when a live ball is advanced into, caught in, or recovered in the end zone of the opposing team.

A PAT is most commonly attempted from the two- or three-yard line, depending on the level of play. If scored by a placekick or dropkick through the goal posts, it is worth one point, and is typically called the extra point.

In such a case, a successful attempt is called the two-point conversion [55] and is worth two points. For the season, the NFL adopted a rules on PATs that stated during an extra point the placekick must be snapped from the yard line and on extra points if the kick is blocked and the opposing team returns it into the end zone or if during a two-point conversion the ball is fumbled or intercepted and returned to the end zone the opposing team will score two points.

No points are awarded on a failed extra point or two-point conversion attempt, although under a rare set of circumstances it is possible to score a safety, worth one point, if the defense takes the ball back into its own end zone and is downed there.

A safety is scored when the ball carrier is tackled in their own end zone. Safeties are worth two points, which are awarded to the defense.

Lines marked along the ends and sides of the field are known respectively as the end lines and sidelines , and goal lines are marked 10 yards 9. Weighted pylons are placed on the inside corner of the intersections of the goal lines and end lines.

White markings on the field identify the distance from the end zone. Inbound lines, or hash marks , are short parallel lines that mark off 1 yard 0.

Yard lines , which can run the width of the field, are marked every 5 yards 4. A one-yard-wide line is placed at each end of the field; this line is marked at the center of the two-yard line in professional play and at the three-yard line in college play.

Numerals that display the distance from the closest goal line in yards are placed on both sides of the field every ten yards.

Goalposts are located at the center of the plane of each of the two end lines. The crossbar of these posts is ten feet 3.

Goal posts are padded at the base, and orange ribbons are normally placed at the tip of each upright. The football itself is an oval ball, similar to the balls used in rugby or Australian rules football.

Football games last for a total of 60 minutes in professional and college play and are divided into two-halves of 30 minutes and four-quarters of 15 minutes.

The losing team, unless the winning team decides to defer, is allowed to choose the option the winning team did not select, and receives the option to receive, kick, or select a goal to defend to begin the second half.

Most teams choose to receive or defer, because choosing to kick the ball to start the game would allow the other team to choose which goal to defend.

Games last longer than their defined length due to play stoppages — the average NFL game lasts slightly over three hours.

An operator is responsible for starting, stopping and operating the game clock based on the direction of the appropriate official. If the play clock expires before the ball has been snapped or free-kicked, a delay of game foul is called on the offense.

The play clock is set to 40 seconds in professional and college football and to 25 seconds in high school play or following certain administrative stoppages in the former levels of play.

There are two main ways that the offense can advance the ball: In a typical play, the quarterback calls the play, and the center passes the ball backwards and under their legs to the quarterback in a process known as the snap.

The quarterback then either hands the ball off to a back, throws the ball or runs with it. The play ends when the player with the ball is tackled or goes out of bounds, or a pass hits the ground without a player having caught it.

A forward pass can only be legally attempted if the passer is behind the line of scrimmage, and only one forward pass can be attempted per down.

The offense is given a series of four plays, known as downs. If the offense advances ten or more yards in the four downs, they are awarded a new set of four downs.

If they fail to advance ten yards, possession of the football is turned over to the defense. In most situations, if the offense reaches their fourth down they will punt the ball to the other team, which forces them to begin their drive from further down the field; if they are in field goal range , they might also attempt to score a field goal.

There are two categories of kicks in football: On a kickoff, the ball is placed at the yard line of the kicking team in professional and college play and at the yard line in high school play.

The ball may be drop-kicked or place-kicked. If a place kick is chosen, the ball can be placed on the ground or on a tee, and a holder may be used in either case.

On a safety kick, the kicking team kicks the ball from their own yard line. They can punt, drop-kick or place-kick the ball, but a tee may not be used in professional play.

Any member of the receiving team may catch or advance the ball, and the ball may be recovered by the kicking team once it has gone at least ten yards and has touched the ground or has been touched by any member of the receiving team.

The three types of scrimmage kicks are place kicks, drop kicks, and punts. Only place kicks and drop kicks can score points.

If it is touched or recovered by the kicking team beyond this line, it becomes dead at the spot where it was touched. This prohibits the defense from blocking into or tackling the receiver, but the play ends as soon as the ball is caught and the ball may not be advanced.

Officials are responsible for enforcing game rules and monitoring the clock. All officials carry a whistle and wear black-and-white striped shirts and black hats except for the referee, whose hat is white.

Each carries a weighted yellow flag that is thrown to the ground to signal that a foul has been called. An official who spots multiple fouls will throw their hat as a secondary signal.

Another set of officials, the chain crew , are responsible for moving the chains. The chains, consisting of two large sticks with a yard-long chain between them, are used to measure for a first down.

The chain crew stays on the sidelines during the game, but if requested by the officials they will briefly bring the chains on to the field to measure.

A typical chain crew will have at least three people — two members of the chain crew will hold either of the two sticks, while a third will hold the down marker.

The down marker, a large stick with a dial on it, is flipped after each play to indicate the current down, and is typically moved to the approximate spot of the ball.

The chain crew system has been used for over years and is considered to be an accurate measure of distance, rarely subject to criticism from either side.

Football is a full-contact sport, and injuries are relatively common. Most injuries occur during training sessions, particularly ones that involve contact between players.

At a minimum players must wear a football helmet and a set of shoulder pads , but individual leagues may require additional padding such as thigh pads and guards, knee pads, chest protectors, and mouthguards.

The most common types of injuries are strains , sprains , bruises , fractures, dislocations , and concussions. More specifically, each year a player played tackle football under age 12 predicted earlier onset of cognitive, behavioral, and mood problems by an average of two and a half years.

College football is the third-most popular sport in the United States, behind professional baseball and professional football.

High school football is the most popular sport in the United States played by boys; over 1. The NFHS is the largest organization for high school football, with member associations in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

USA Football is the governing body for youth and amateur football, [] and Pop Warner Little Scholars is the largest organization for youth football.

Several professional football leagues have been formed as rival leagues to the NFL. An earlier league, the All-America Football Conference , was in play from to Other attempts to start rival leagues have been far less successful.

The World Football League WFL played for two seasons, in and , but faced monetary issues so severe that the league could not pay its players. In its second and final season the WFL attempted to establish a stable credit rating, but the league disbanded before its second season could be completed.

American football leagues exist throughout the world, but the game has yet to achieve the international success and popularity of baseball and basketball.

All of these countries rank far below the United States, which is dominant at the international level. Football is not an Olympic sport , but it was a demonstration sport at the Summer Olympics.

But under owner Jimmy Haslam, they have been repeatedly sabotaged by infighting and ineptitude. So what will win out: The NFL season is drawing to a close for all but the elite.

NFL Nation grades each team and looks forward. To help make this website better, to improve and personalize your experience and for advertising purposes, are you happy to accept cookies and other technologies?

Detail by Peyton Manning. The Adam Schefter Podcast. The Mina Kimes Show. The Bill Barnwell Show. Behind the Bets with Doug Kezirian.

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National Football League seasons. National Football League awards and trophies.

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