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What Is The Running Game In American Football?

What Is The Running Game In Football?

The running game in football is all about controlling the clock, gaining yardage, and ultimately scoring touchdowns. It involves the offensive team using their players to run with or hand off to a ball carrier—usually a running back or quarterback—through gaps created by linemen to gain yards.

The goal is typically to move downfield as quickly as possible while keeping possession of the ball until reaching their desired destination—the end zone.

Types Of Running Plays

The Handoff: The handoff is when the quarterback gives the ball to the running back, who then runs with it. The quarterback can also run with the ball, but this is not as common.

The Pitch: The pitch is when the quarterback throws the ball to the running back, who then runs with it. This is typically used when the quarterback is being chased by defenders and needs to get rid of the ball quickly.

The Sweep: The sweep is when the offensive line moves to one side of the field, and the running back runs behind them. This is typically used to avoid defenders and gain extra yardage.

How a Good Running Game Helps an Offense

Help Control The Clock: This is especially important if your team has a strong defense – keeping the ball on offense can prevent the other team from scoring points on the field. Even if your team doesn’t have a particularly strong defense, controlling the clock can be important to keep the score close or even win the game.

Wear Down The Opposing Team’s Defense: If your team consistently moves the ball on the ground, the defense will eventually get tired and worn down. This can lead to big plays and even touchdowns later in the game when the defense is less able to make stops.

Can Be a Great Way To Score Points: While passing is certainly important, there’s nothing like pounding the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. If your team has a good rushing attack, it can put up points even against a strong defense.

How a Good Running Game Helps The Passing Attack

A good running game is important to any American football team, but it can be especially important to teams that rely heavily on the passing game. Why? Because a strong rushing attack can keep defenses honest, meaning they can’t just focus on stopping the pass.

If a team has a good running back or even just a couple of good running plays, it can help to open up the passing game. This is because defenses will have to respect the run, and they won’t be able to put as many players in coverage. As a result, there will be more opportunities for the passing game to succeed.

Of course, a good running game can also help to wear down defenses over the course of a game. This can make it easier for the passing game to succeed in the second half when defenses are tired and less able to focus on stopping the pass.


To summarize, the running game is one of many strategies used in football that helps teams gain yards and score points. It requires players on both sides of the ball—offense and defense—to execute precise techniques in order for it to be successful. With proper execution, running plays can quickly lead your team downfield while keeping control over time and possession.

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