What does it mean to shoot the gap in football?

To understand, first we need to know what is a gap.

In an offensive alignment, the “gaps” are the spaces between the linemen. The A gap is to the left and right of the center and is the space between the center and the guard. The B gap is the space between the guards and tackles and the C gap is outside the tackles. Defensive strategy sets the alignment of defensive linemen across of the offensive line, sometimes straight in front of the opposing lineman while other alignments have the defensive players positioned in the gaps.

To shoot the gap is to “shoot” through the gap and into the offensive backfield so quickly that the offensive linemen can’t move to stop the advance. This often leads to a tackle for loss or a quarterback sack if not countered by the offensive backfield.



How to use ‘shoot the gap’ in everyday life

This one might not be the easiest to use but it is certainly possible. I think of it most when I’m driving a bit on the, let’s say, agressive side. Maybe you are stuck in a lane on the highway behind someone going to slow and someone in your blind spot not passing you. All you have is a small window or gap to jump into. That’s when I punch the gas and ‘shoot the gap’.