Defensive Football Strategy

This page is a work in progress. We will continue to add details about the real defensive strategy in football. If you are watching a game and hear a term you are not familiar with, let us know! We will help explain it and make it fun too.

NOTE: All of these kinds of things are really detailed. It’s not worth trying to understand them until you have a general grasp of the basics. Also, we have found that the guys are much more willing to help you understand the strategy behind the decision on something like the difference between the strong side and weak side and what’s a Tampa 2 than they are about answering the question of why they hit so hard.

Defensive Football Strategy

The goal of the defense in football is to keep the other team from scoring. That’s pretty much it. We covered their secondary goals in the Defensive Formations section

So, how does this translate into the strategy of the defense? Well, a defense’s specific strategy for a game must take into account a lot of aspects about the opposing team, but here are a few:

  1. What type of offense the opposing team runs
  2. The specific talents of individual players
  3. What they know about plays the other team utilizes

It also has to take into account the same types of situations for the defense as well as if the defense has players who can handle super talented guys on the other team.

What’s interesting is how much a defense can evolve during the course of the game and adjust to defend against things they are seeing they were not ready for.

The defense also has very specific strategies outside of their core formation when they anticipate a play that will most likely be a run or a pass. They bring different players in for different plays. They move guys around from the left to the right and move linebackers to play like linemen.

Here are some of the strategies defenses utilize that Flip the Field will be adding to this site in the coming weeks.

  1. Strategy against the run
  2. Strategy against the pass
  3. Strategy against the option
  4. Zone
  5. Man-to-Man
  6. Blitzes
  7. Prevent

Also check back for details on coverage formations like Tampa 2, Cover 2 and Cover 3,

Other Strategic Situations for the Defense:

Beyond how the football strategy is utilized by the defense, there are other strategic situations in which the defense will find themselves. We describe some of these strategic situations below.

Clock Management Strategy for the Defense:

The defense really doesn’t care about the clock because they really cannot control it. There is really only two similar situations where they at least make an attempt to control the clock through the use of timeouts:

(1) If it is late in first or second half and the defensive team is behind –

(2) If it is kind of late in the first or second half and the defensive team just wants the ball back on offense one more time –

On-side Kick

We detailed this more in the offensive strategy section but the strategy for the defense is to try and anticipate when this is going to happen. If they think the kicking team is going to try an on-side kick, the returning team should put in as many guys with ‘good hands’ as they can to try and catch the ball while it is bouncing all over the place.

Tell us what you think!