Intro to Football: What is Play Action?

Intro to Football: What is Play Action?

If you watch a football game, something
that will happen a few times is an offensive play called Play Action or a
Play Action Pass. If you’re watching the game on TV, you’ll
undoubtedly hear the announcers at some point mention
this ‘Play Action’ play. It sounds complicated, but is actually
quite simple. Play Action is something that the offensive
team will do on a passing play in an attempt to throw off the defense and
how they will do that is to fake a hand off. And that’s really
all it is Play Action is just another term for a
fake handoff before the team passes, or at least attemtps to pass the ball. So the quarterback will receive the snap
from center, he will turn around as if it is a running play, the running back will move forward, and
fake receiving the handoff from the quarterback who will instead hang onto the ball and then
make that pass attempt to his wide receiver down the field.
The reason the offensive team is doing this is to throw the defense off for just a
half a second because if the defensive backs see the hand off they’ll likely abandon whoever they are
covering, and instead run up and try to tackle the running back, but with the Play Action
half a second is all the offense will need to get that wide receiver a little space he needs to make the catch.

About the Author: Garret Beatty


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