Every team in the NFL has its own particular game plan, which the coach will switch up depending on the opposition. However, the playbook has a wide range of possible moves, and as a fan, it's good fun to predict what might be coming next.
If you regularly watch NFL games, you'll start to spot the moves, but here's a rundown of some of the most popular ones.
Blocking is an essential skill that every football player needs to learn as there may be a point in a game where they're required to step up and block the opposition.
Man-on-man blocking is a type of play where a player from one team focuses specifically on a particular player from the opposing team and attempts to block them out of the game.
A different approach is zone blocking, but this is a more complex strategy that can go wrong if someone misinterprets where they are supposed to block.
This is a type of gamesmanship where one team attempt to use their advantage to psyche their opponents out. When a kicker is due to take a field goal or kick for the extra point, the opposing team call a time-out.
The break-in play and the extended pause before the kick can be taken can be enough to make the kicker overthink his move and lead to a mistake.
This strategy is usually used in overtime or near the end of a game where pressure is already mounting, and the success of the kick may be pivotal in determining the winner.
Icing the kicker is a well-known but controversial strategy and hated by kickers. Coaches and fans vary in their opinion of the movie, with some preferring to avoid it altogether.
This is a move that every good quarterback should have in his locker and one that you'll see regularly on the field. It involves the QB dummying a throw to deceive the opposition before throwing to a different player on the opposite side of the field.
The double fake has the effect of making players lunge in one direction, wrong-footing them for the actual throw. This frees up the wide receiver and can create a free channel on the field.
Players will be alert for the possibility of a double fake, so the quarterback needs to be convincing to make the ploy work.
Clock management is something that occurs in every sport, as it's a way of trying to preserve a lead or catch up before you run out of time. If you're behind, then good clock management means picking an offensive move that is quicker than you might normally try.
Conversely, if you're ahead, you might move in and out of a huddle slowly, run the ball and not bother with any of your timeouts.
Players and coaches should be aware of the time left at all times and use the proper clock management to get the result.