With these in your armory, be it with family, friends or colleagues, you’ll be able to understand what’s going on and impress others – or at least keep on your own – with your diverse knowledge of the US favorite game.
Backfield: This is divided into offensive and defensive sections. The offensive back field is the area behind the offensive line where the midfielder and back line are. The defensive back field is the area behind the defensive line where the full back and the defensive back line up.
raids: A defensive tactic in which more than four defenders, sometimes including linebackers or defensive linebackers who do not cross the line of scrimmage, choose to run with a full tilt toward the opposing midfielder rather than covering the backcourt (see above) in an effort to interfere or seize possession of the ball.
lowest: The movement phase of the game when the ball is active until it is declared dead and play is stopped. Most touchdowns start with a shot from the center, but kicks and kicks can start with kicks. The offense has four touchdowns or less to advance 10 yards from the ball’s original position initially down to gain back first and maintain possession for another possible set of four touchdowns. Teams start from first down, then each team is numbered after that – second, third and fourth. If the offense fails to achieve the required 10 yards of forward progression from the first down position, possession changes to the other team.
End zone: The area at the end of each field that teams are trying to reach to score a relegation. Players must catch the ball inside or carry the ball to the opponent’s end area which is 10 yards x 53 yards.
Extra point: After the touchdown is scored, the team can choose to attempt a kick, the equivalent of a field goal for 33, through the goal posts upright at each end of the field to earn one additional point.
field goal: A kick from the goalkeeper that travels across the upright posts earns the team three points. It can be tried at any time of a team’s four relegation periods, but is usually done when a team has regressed to fourth and relegation is not believed to be possible. The longest field goal in NFL history was scored by Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens in 2021. Tucker converted a 66-yard field goal, bouncing off the crossbar and over, with time running out to give the Ravens a 19-17 victory against him. Detroit Lions.
touch: When the player controlling the soccer ball either drops it or the opposing team drops it – the said player is not actually considered to be on the ground and is disqualified by contact. Once a player has sensed, the attack or defense can recover. If the defense recovers, it is considered a turnover.
objection: When a defensive player catches a forward pass through the offense, usually the midfielder, which results in a change of possession.
Brawl line: The default lines on which the offensive and defensive linemen depend. The offensive line runs from the side line to the side line and is marked from the front point of the ball after it has been spotted by the referee. Players cannot pass their lines until the ball has been cut.
offensive line: The five players dedicated to protecting the midfielder at all costs – particularly in terms of passing plays. However, these same guardians make holes to run through their backs. Each offensive line has a center, which pounces on the ball to start the drop (see above), two guards and two tackles – although more attacking members can form part of the offensive line.
Penalty: If a team or player is deemed to have violated the Laws of the Game, they will be penalized. These can come in the form of a yardage penalty or a down loss. When the penalty is assessed, the referee will throw a yellow flag onto the playing court.
pocket: The area formed around a midfielder by his offensive line to prevent a defensive player from being sent off.
red zone: The alias of the area’s last 20 yards of attack must move to score a touchdown—from the 20-yard defense line to the goal line.
haste: When the ball is advanced by an attacking player running with the ball in his hands, that is called a lunge.
bag: When a defensive player deals with the center, while the ball is in his hands, behind the line of scrimmage for a yard loss.
Explode, Explode: Action that starts playing from melee. For a snapper to occur, the center – or in some cases, the long snapper – passes the ball between his legs to the midfielder, punter, or ball carrier. In rare cases, the center can direct the attraction to the flowing posterior, wide receiver, or narrow end.
special teams: The 22 players on the field while taking kicks, field goals, bonus points and kicks. Specialized players will appear at each stage, such as specialist punters, position players, and kick-backs.
landing: With a value of six points, a touchdown is scored if a player carries the ball across the goal line or catches the ball in the opponent’s end zone.
rotation: Delicious pastries are often stuffed with a fruit filling – we’re mistaken, we go on. When a defensive player gains possession of the ball after the attacking team often loses it through confusion or interception.
Two conversion points: After a touchdown is scored, the team has the option to run one game from the two-yard line of defense to earn two points, rather than one with an extra point kick. A two-point transfer is completed if the ball is moved over the goal line or if it is captured in the end zone, similar to a touchdown scoring.
Attractive and colloquial details
audible: When a quarterback changes the original play called in the mob to a different play at the line of scrimmage.
infringement: Defensive penalty when a defensive player enters before the neutral kick – the area in which players line up before the knockout.
grill: playing field.
hard count: A technique used by quarterbacks by varying the number of hits, and instructing the quarterback when catching the ball, in an attempt to cause defensive players to inadvertently cross into the neutral zone and, in turn, move the attack forward five yards as a result of a penalty kick.
crime in a hurry: When the offensive team chooses to play several consecutive plays without having to compromise. Usually used when time is running out, the goal is to use as little time as possible to run as many plays as possible.
Cake icing: The act of calling a timeout just as the opposing team’s kick is about to take a subsequent kick. The tactic is used in the hope of disrupting the timing and process of templates. The theory is that the extra time will put more pressure on the kicker to consider the consequences of the situation.
In the trenches: The line of scrimmage where the men of the offensive and defensive line fight when catching the ball.
man locker room: He is not necessarily a player who appears in every game, but he is a player vital to the success of the team, providing moral support both on and off the field (see above). Often an older player, the added experience helps in picking teams after defeats or keeping the team focused after a win.
side kick: The kick-off was intentionally taken in the hope that the team kicking the ball would retain possession of the football. Usually used at the end of games by the late teams.
choice of six: Intercept (choice) is triggered backwards to land.
pig skin: Actual football title. The nickname is rumored to come from a story that the first soccer balls were made of a distended pig’s bladder and covered with pigskin or similar hard leather. Nowadays, they are made of cowhide.
dog kick: When a kicker deliberately chooses not to launch at full force in order to deny a dangerous returner a potential retraction. You often find the ball itself landing a short distance – in and around blockers who rarely touch the ball during the season, let alone play. The offensive team usually uses it at the end of the first half or games, and acknowledges yardage potential in the hope that the score will be over.
Venice: When the quarterback chooses to throw the hijacker several steps behind the center.
Victory formation: When the team is looking to hold the reins and turn the clock back down, the team’s quarterback will immediately kneel after the hit, allowing time to step back. Usually used by the winning team at the end of halftime or matches.
CNN’s David Close and Homero de la Fuente contributed to this report.