Football A to Z
Artificial Turf (also called Astro Turf) – Synthetic surface, mainly used in domed stadiums or stadiums without natural sunlight. Artificial turf has historically been known to cause more injuries than natural grass
Blitz – Play where linebackers and sometimes defensive backs vacate their regular position in order to rush the quarterback, hoping to sack or at least pressure the quarterback into making a mistake.
Bomb or long bomb - Deep pass thrown by quarterback. It is close to a Hail Mary, except it doesn't necessarily get thrown in the end zone. A 40 yard completion would be considered a bomb.
Bootleg - Offensive paly where quarterback fakes a handoff to the running back and runs inthe opposite direction
Chop Block – Penalty where a block is below the knees. Often used by offensive lineman. Result is a 15 yard penalty
Commissioner Service – Software used by websites to run a fantasy football league. Prices can range from free (limited rule options) to $129. Service will keep track of your league’s schedule, scoring, and draft.
Cover 2 – Defensive scheme where two deep defenders (usually safeties) are covering that deep part of the field.
Cover 3 – Along the lines of the Cover 2, a Cover 3 deploys three deep backs to cover the field in thirds
Delay of Game - Not snapping the ball before the clock expires, calling a timeout when you don't have one or having twelve men on the field. Penalty is five yards.
Draft Board – Rankings of players for purpose of drafting. Many draft boards include all players, while some are broken down by position. Unless otherwise stated, most draft boards are based on a scoring league.
End Around – Offensive play where quarterback hands the ball off to the wide receiver who then motions to the opposite side from where he lined up
Fair Catch – Kickoff/punt returner signaling by waving an arm overhead that he is going to catch the ball, the spot of which is where his offense will take over. After a fair catch, and contact by the opposing team will result in a 15 yard penalty
Flea Flicker - Play where quarterback hands off to running back, who then tosses the ball back to the quarterback; th quarterback generally throws a deep pass.
Fourth Down – Last available down to get a first down. If offensive is unsuccessful, opponent takes over at that field position
Hail Mary – Long pass thrown to end zone as time is running out, either in game or to end the first half.
Horse Collar Penalty – Personal foul where the defender grabs the back of an opponent’s collar or the back inside of his shoulder pads and yanks him down. This results in a 15 yard penalty and can frequently come with a fine a this play puts the victim player at increased injury risk
Illegal Formation – Penalty where one team doesn’t have enough players at the line of scrimmage. Teams must have seven men on the line. Result is a five yard penalty
Intention Grounding – Penalty where the quarterback, facing pressure, throws the ball FROM THE POCKET, far from any open receivers. Result is a 10 yard penalty and loss of down. If Quarterback is in the end zone, result is a safety.
Offsides – Penalty when defender has any part of his body beyond his line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped. An Offsides call results in a five yard penalty.
Pass Interference (Defensive) – An illegal interference with a receiver trying to catch a ball. A Pass Interference call results in the ball being spotted where the penalty occurred. If the pass interference occurs in the end zone, the ball is spotted at the 1 yard line.
Pass Interference (Offensive) – An illegal interference by the offensive player. Result is a 10 yard penalty
PAT – Point after touchdown, also known as extra point
Pick – An interception
Pick Six – An interception (pick) run back for a touchdown (six points).
Play Action Pass – Play in which the quarterback fakes a hand-off to the running back, then drops back to pass
Pooch Kick – Kickoff or punt without full force. Idea is to make the kick unreturnable
Possession Receiver – A wide receiver who generally runs routes across middle of field, catching high percentage passes in the 8-15 yard range. Examples include Wes Welker (Patriots), Hines Ward (Steelers), and TJ Houshmandzadeh (Bengals)
Prevent Defense – Defensive strategy used near ends of games where defensive backs drop deep in zone coverage to prevent a hail mary or other long pass
Quarterback Sneak – Play commonly used in very short distance third or fourth down and/or goal line situations. Generally, this play is called with less than a yard to go, allowing the quarterback to lean forward for the required inches.
Red Flag - Flag that a coach will throw to challange a call on the field. If call is upheld, team loses a timeout.
Reverse – Play where quarterback hands off to a RB, who then hands off to a WR running the opposite direction
Running into Kicker - Pretty self explanitory. Unintentional is five yard penalty; an intentional running into the kicker is a personal foul and a fifteen yard penalty
Safety – Play in which a player is tackled within the end zone. Safety results in two points for the opposing team, as well as a change of possession. A quarterback called for intentional grounding while in the end zone will also result in a safety.
Scoring – Ways to score: Touchdown (6 pts), FG (3 pts), Extra point (1 point), Two-point conversion (2 pts), Safety (2 pts)
Serpentine Curve (S Curve) – Method of drafting players that mimics an “S.” For example, in a 10 person league, the team with the 10th and 11th, while the team with the #1 pick would pick 1st and 20th. pick would pick 10
Touchback – Result of a kickoff or punt being kicked through the end zone, or, more frequently, a kick returner catching the ball and kneeling while in the end zone. A touchback means the offense will begin on its own 20 yard line.
Waiver Wire – Means of picking up player. In fantasy football, you have to drop an active player. In the NFL, you can just move player to your practice squad.