Play action is a Pass play that uses a fake handoff to deceive the defense into thinking a run play is happening. The play-action can be used on any down and distance but is best used when the defense is expecting a run.

Play-action can be an effective way to keep the defense guessing and open up opportunities downfield

When executed correctly, play action can result in a big gain for the offense. Let’s take a closer look at how play action works and some of its benefits.

How Play Action Works

Play action typically starts with the quarterback lining up Under the Center formation.

Under Center formation is when the quarterback takes a direct snap from the center offensive lineman

This position allows him to see the defense and make better decisions about where to throw the ball. This formation also shows the defense that there may be a higher probability of a running play.

The quarterback will take the snap and then pretend to hand the ball off to the running back. The offensive line, tight end, and wide receivers will all execute their blocking assignments as if it were a run play. Meanwhile, the quarterback will drop back to pass.

The main goal of play action is to freeze the linebackers and safeties so they bite on the run fake. This opens up opportunities for big plays downfield, often for chunk yardage or hopefully a touchdown. Additionally, play action can help protect the quarterback from getting sacked because the offensive line is still executing their blocking assignments.

Benefits of Play Action:  

There are several benefits of using play action in football. First, it can result in big plays downfield if executed correctly. Second, it can help protect the quarterback from getting sacked. Third, it can be used to slow down a fast-moving defense or to change the pace of the game. Finally, play action is a great way to catch the defense off-guard and keep them guessing.

Risks of Play Action:

The quarterback is still in harm's way by faking a handoff and holding on to the football, especially if the defense reads the play correctly.
Another potential drawback of play-action is that it often requires more time to develop than a traditional drop-back pass. This can be an issue if the offensive line is not able to give the quarterback sufficient time to make his read and deliver the ball.

If you’re looking for a way to catch the defense off-guard, a Play Action is definitely worth considering

Play-action can be a helpful tool in the offensive playbook for coaches to create big plays and keep the other team's defense guessing. However, it's important to weigh the potential drawbacks before calling a play-action pass in game situations.

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