Stack the Box

Football Concept: Stack the Box

In football, this is the saying used when the defense puts a lot of players in ‘the box’ which is the imaginary rectangle in front of the offensive line that is the width of the offensive line and about 3-5 yards deep. It means the defense likely thinks the offense is going to run and is trying to prevent them from going very far. Therefore, they put the majority of the defense and ‘stack the box’.

stack box in football

In this image – the box is not stacked.

Out of the 11 defensive players on the field, having more than 7 ‘in the box’ would mean the box was stacked. So, in the image above, a couple of the linebackers and one of the safeties or corners would need to get within the box to stack it.

How the saying can be used in real life:

You can use the football phrase, ‘stack the box’, when you are going above and beyond to prevent something from happening or someone is trying to prevent you from doing something. It’s kind of like having the deck of cards stacked against you. So, let’s say, you are at Filene’s Basement for the bridal gown sale. You know someone else who wants the one dress you want but she had the foresight to bring 4 friends with her to help her get to it first and they are all ex-roller derby players. She just stacked the box against you, but maybe you can call an audible and throw a hail Mary!

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