There is an offense and a defense and something called special teams.  Each side must have 11 players on the field for each play.  This is the simplest rule to understand so I am baffled when teams are penalized for having too many men.  The offense focuses on scoring points by moving the ball toward their end zone.  The defense tries to prevent the offense from advancing.  We find the special teams players on the field before the offense and defense trade places and usually involves a kicker.  Scoring in football is relatively simple to understand.  You want your man’s team to score touchdowns.  If an offensive player crosses the goal line into the end zone, that teams scores 6 points.  Then, that same team has a chance to kick one extra point making the total score 7.  If the offense cannot cross the goal line but they are close, that team may choose to kick a field goal for 3 points.  See, it’s easy.  The hard part to understand is how the offense get near the end zone.

Here are the basics:  The kicker on the special teams kicks the ball as far as possible to a player on the team that is about to go on offense.  The offense begins their effort where the ball lands or the player that caught the ball gets tackled.  The offense has 4 chances to move the ball 10 yards using passing or running plays.  These are called downs.  The TV will tell us the down number and how many yards until they complete the 10 yards.  The offense always starts on 1st down and 10 yards and again when they get 10 or more yards.  For example, it is 1st and 10 and the running back makes it forward 4 yards.  The next play is 2nd down and 6 yards to go.  If the offense can make it 6 or more yards, then they get another 4 chances to go 10 yards and resets to 1st and 10.  If they cannot, then it becomes 3rd and 4th downs.  If the offense is facing 4th down, they can choose to go for the 10th yard one more time or kick it away to the other team as far as the special teams kicker can.  Then the team that was just on offense goes on the defense.  The defense lines up on the field and tries to anticipate the next offensive play.  If they do, the defense might intercept an offensive pass or recover a fumble and possibly score a touchdown.

In between all of these plays, there is a chance a referee may call a foul and penalize the guilty team yards forward if the penalty was on defense or backwards if it was on the offense.  Your man will swear more due to penalties than plays, I assure you.

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