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A to Z of the NFL

Posted Nov 8, 2015

A is for ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings…

The NFL is filled with wild comebacks each and every weekend. It makes for edge-of-your-seat action on a Sunday evening but is not much fun for the stressed-out coaches of the NFL.

B is for bomb…

A bomb is a long pass downfield from the quarterback to his receiver and is one of the most exciting plays in the NFL.

 

C is for coaches…

Each NFL team has 1 head coach in charge of the players but also a gaggle of assistants. Each position has its own coach and teams can have up to 20 assistants on staff.

D is for downs…

The offense has 4 chances – known as downs – to make 10 yards and then they get another 4 downs and so on as they move downfield.

 

E is for end zone…

The 10-yard area at each end of the field. This is your destination if you’re on offense. Get the ball in here and you’ve scored yourself 6 points!

 

F is for fumble…

When a runner drops the ball on the ground or has the ball knocked from his grasp, this is known as a fumble and leads to a free-for-all as players from both teams chase the football.

G is for Golden Super Bowl…

NFL teams are chasing historic glory this season as they are competing for a place in Super Bowl 50. The ‘Golden’ Super Bowl will take place in San Francisco on Sunday February 7, 2016.

 

H is for hope for everyone…

The NFL is split into 8 divisions with the winners – along with 4 next-best teams – reaching the playoffs. There is hope for everyone as 28 of the NFL’s 32 teams have won their divisions over the past 13 years.

I is for instant replay…

Coaches can throw red challenge flags if they want a play reviewed by TV. And all touchdowns and turnovers are automatically reviewed if necessary.

J is for just one prize…

There are no cup competitions or chances to “qualify for Europe” in the NFL. It’s Super Bowl or bust for the league’s 32 teams.

 

K is for kicking…

A kick at goal on fourth down is worth 3 points and is known as a field goal. A kicked conversion after a touchdown is worth 1 point and a kick away to the other team for field position is a punt.

L is for linebacker…

The linebacker is a versatile defender whose job is to tackle running backs on running plays and to cover certain areas of the field on passes.

 

M is for most touchdowns…

Scoring in the NFL is at an all-time high and showing no signs of slowing down. In 2014, the most touchdowns (807) were scored in NFL history.

N is for no room for error…

At the end of a 17-week regular season, the 12 leading teams enter a straight knock-out tournament known as the playoffs. The winners advance along the road to the Super Bowl, the losers go home!

 

O is for offensive line…

The offensive line is made up of 5 very big men whose job is to protect the quarterback on passing plays and open up holes for the running back on running plays.

P is for parity…

The NFL is one of the most wide open sports leagues in the world. The last 10 Super Bowls have produced 8 different league champions.

 

Q is for quarterback…

The glamour boys of the NFL lead the attack by taking the ball on each play and either handing to a runner, running themselves or throwing downfield.

R is for running back…

The running back is one of the most versatile players on offense. He either runs the ball downfield, catches passes from the quarterback or blocks to protect his passer.

 

S is for sack…

When a defender tackles the quarterback behind the line while attempting to pass, this is known as a sack and can lead to some bad dancing from the big men!

 

T is for touchdown…

A touchdown is worth 6 points and can be scored when a player carries the ball into the opposing team’s end zone or catches a pass in the end zone.

U is for unbelievable odds…

The NFL represents the best of the best in American football. Only 6.5 per cent of high school players in America go on to play college football and only 1.6 per cent of those ever make it to the NFL.

V is for very popular…

NFL games in London are perennial sell-outs and the sport is growing in popularity in the UK. On the other side of the pond, the NFL has been America’s most popular sport for more than four decades.

 

W is for Wembley Stadium…

England’s national stadium has been home to the NFL’s International Series since 2007. By the end of this season, 20 of the NFL’s 32 teams will have played at Wembley.

X is for xtra time!...

You try coming up with one for ‘x.’ All NFL games that end with the scores tied go into extra time. The teams play an additional quarter and once each team has had a possession, the first score wins.

 

Y is for young Brits…

The NFL features five young Brits in Jack Crawford and Efe Obada (both Dallas Cowboys), Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders), Jay Ajayi (Miami Dolphins) and Lawrence Okoye (Arizona Cardinals).

Z is for zebras…

NFL games are presided over by a team of seven officials who wear distinctive striped shirts and are often known as zebras.

 

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