Blitz Football: The Game-Changer You Need to Know

Blitzing is a defensive strategy the defense uses to thwart the offense’s throw attempts in blitz football. It is derived from the German blitzkrieg strategy used during World War 2. When the offensive quarterback is on a blitz, more defensive players attack him to either tackle him or pressure him into rushing his throws.

You may learn everything about blitz football from this article.

What is Blitz Football, and how is it different from traditional football?

Blitz football is a play where the defense sends five or more defenders into the offensive backfield in order to disrupt the ball carrier.

It is riskier for the blitz because the defense has less time to cover targets or stop running plays. A good rush will, however, lead to sacks or forcing mistakes from the quarterback.

The main difference between blitz football and traditional football is that four players rush the quarterback in traditional football. These players are defensive tackles and defensive ends whose main objective is to get in the quarterback’s face to stop the pass, whereas the number is 5 in blitz football.

Having a good pass rush changes everything. It can make a quarterback throw a bad pass, miss his intended target, or bring the quarterback down before he can throw the ball. This is a sack.

Football teams can do these things well with only four players, but a blitz is intended to send more than four players to the QB at once to try to get there faster.

How did Blitz Football come to be, and what changes were made to create it?

Let’s examine where the word “blitz” comes from and how this football strategy got so popular. We know what blitz football is and why coaches use it on defense.

Blitz derives from the German word “blitzkrieg,” meaning “lightning war.” In 1940, the British called German airstrikes heavy.

A defensive tackle for the New York Giants, Don Ettinger, also known as “Red Dog,” became the first player to specialize in rushing the quarterback, a technique that quickly became popular.

When the players blitzing the quarterback were referred to as “red dogs,” Ettinger’s moniker became a part of football terminology. The term “blitzing the quarterback” is also used as a verb to denote when a player is doing so.

The blitz quickly gained popularity on both rushing plays and passing plays. In the 1950s, Clark Shaughnessy made the run blitz popular by sending 8 men to the line of scrimmage.

This makes it challenging for the rushing back to locate a gap and puts pressure on the quarterback if the team chooses to throw.

In the 1970s, the 3-4 blitz, which featured three defensive linemen and four linebackers, became popular due to St. Louis Cardinals defensive coordinator Chuck Drulis.

At least one linebacker blitzes on every play in a 3-4 defense, but the coach changes which linebacker blitzes.

Buddy Ryan used the 46 defense in 1985 to stop the running game no matter what. It involved putting 10 defenders inside the box and one far out on the field.

Today, it’s rarely used and easy to pick up by the offense, but it still stops the run.

The zone blitz finally became well-known when Dick LeBeau’s Pittsburgh Steelers used it in 1992. It was made to stop the West Coast attack but works well against most offenses.

The offense is often kept on its toes by a variety of blitzes and schemes today.

What are some key strategies and techniques used in Blitz Football?

The offense’s biggest nightmare is a blitz. It compels them to move quickly and hurriedly, which ups the likelihood of a turnover and alters how an offense responds over the course of the game.

Although it is a psychological tool for the defense, it nevertheless has a drawback.

Offenses may respond to a blitz using any number of strategies, methods, and approaches. Let’s examine some of the most common techniques used by offensive teams to foil blitzing defenses.

Practice Makes Perfect – Though it may seem cliché, it is true. During practice, coaches often deploy several blitz packages against the offense to enable players to see blitzes in action. It’s much simpler to outwit the defense when you confront a blitz in a game when you’ve mastered reading the blitz in practice.

Throwing Hot – Both the O-line and the quarterback use this technique. Pre-snap adjustments allow the O-line to leave one ‘red dog’ unblocked but still in line with the quarterback. With no threat of being hit from behind, the quarterback is more comfortable in the face of a blitz.

Sight Adjustment – The most common users of this tactic are wide receivers and tight ends, although running backs and fullbacks may also do it if they are not designated to block. To use the free space the “red dog” has created, the offensive target must recognize the blitz and alter their pre-snap route.

Trick Plays – Turning the defense’s attention away from what you’re really doing may help you win. When a receiver on the sideline (behind the line of scrimmage) catches the ball, the receiver assumes the role of quarterback and runs down the opposing sideline as a receiver. One of the most common trick plays is this one.

No-Huddle Offense  – No-huddle offenses keep defenses on their toes. They limit their reaction time to offenses and make defenses think twice about blitzing.

QB Run – A quarterback can spot a blitz post-snap and quickly run outside the pocket with more athletic quarterbacks in today’s NFL, and he can run outside the pocket faster than ever before. On the run, players can either find a hole and keep running or find an open receiver before passing the line of scrimmage.

It’s all about blitzing in football today. Even when the defense doesn’t plan to blitz, the idea is to fool the offense into thinking you’re blitzing.

Both sides of the ball are always giving and taking, which is what makes the game of football so exciting to watch.

Practice is key to preventing and outsmarting the blitz on the offensive side.

Make the defense respond to you rather than the other way around by always working to enhance your own game.

Rules and Gameplay of Blitz Football

The rules involved in blitz football can be understood by understanding how teams actually blitz.

You’ll have four with you whenever you play a blitz. If they’re all about the same speed, it ensures that your defense has a defined outcome.

Make sure your team receives more than four players back if you send more than four players after the quarterback. If a tackle is missed or anything else goes wrong, the opposition team will exploit it.

Most of the time, a solid blitz can stop the offense. Before rushing the quarterback, it would be ideal to see the result clearly. You must maintain continual contact with your colleagues and be aware of when you’re losing ground if you want to keep everyone on the same page.

Blitzing is also possible as a backup plan for the passing game. If they throw a short or intermediate pass, you may blitz when you have strong coverage downfield and choose not to send anybody at all.

4 different gameplay can be used in Blitz football.

Zone defenses and man-to-man defenses can both be used for blitzes.

Zone blitzes use a zone coverage scheme behind the rushing defenders, so all defenders will be responsible for covering an area rather than covering an individual offensive player.

In contrast, man-to-man is exactly the opposite.

If a pass play is called, the defenders behind the rushing players must cover a specific offensive player.

Defending the offensive players will be the responsibility of the defenders behind the rushing players.

We’ll assume the defense runs a 4-3 formation for all the blitz packages we’ll discuss here.

That implies 4 defensive linemen (2 tackles and 2 ends), 3 linebackers (guessing Mike, Sam, and Will), and 4 defensive backs (2 cornerbacks, a free safety, and a strong safety).

Here are all 4 of them

1. Inside Linebacker Blitz

The additional pressure in this blitz will be applied directly up the center.

The Mike linebacker will sprint through one of the A gaps between the center and one of the offensive guards. A linebacker from either Sam or Will will blitz through the other A gap to exert extra pressure.

Immediately up the middle of the offensive line, there is great pressure. It’s now a 4-on-3 with the two offensive guards, the center, and the rushing defensive tackles.

2. Outside Linebacker Blitz

The goal of this blitz strategy is to pressure the offense from the flanks.

In this play, the Mike linebacker will also pressure the quarterback. This time, though, he will make his assault via the B gap between the offensive guard and offensive tackle on one side of the field. The linebacker on the same side of the field will then rush the offensive tackle’s outside corner to the C gap.

All of the pressure will be placed on the offensive protection system’s outside edge as a result. On that side of the field, the offensive guard and offensive tackle must cover for three or even four rushing defenders: the defensive tackle, defensive end, Mike, and either Sam or Will.

3. Double Outside Linebacker Blitz

One fast change to the outside blitz would be to pressure the quarterback with both outside linebackers while Mike drops back into pass coverage. The offensive tackles on both sides of the field would be under more strain as a result.

With these blitzes, some NFL teams may even send a defensive tackle or defensive end back into pass coverage, asking them to act as a kind of substitute linebacker. However, it could be too difficult for kids’ football teams.

4. Secondary Blitz

The final common assault strategy entails attacking one of the secondary players. If the defense decides to ambush a cornerback, the goal is to compel the quarterback to pass quickly and erratically by applying additional pressure, as cornerbacks are typically poor tacklers; their task when blitzing is to merely force the quarterback out of his comfort zone.

If the defense elects to swarm a safety, the objective could be to produce a tackle or halt a running play. When blitzing these players, a defense can strive to do more than just move the quarterback out of the pocket because safeties are superior tacklers.

What are the physical and mental benefits of playing Blitz Football?

Football blitzing is one of the most lucrative defensive plays when done properly, but it’s also one of the most discouraging if not done so.

It’s critical to comprehend the advantage of sending more players after the quarterback since blitz results in various consequences for the defense. Let’s go through the advantages and disadvantages of blitzing the quarterback in more depth so you can appreciate its overwhelming enormity.

We’ll talk about how blitzing can benefit your mental and physical health

  1. Allows teams and fans to get sacks, which boosts morale
  2. It helps to Surprise the attack by taking advantage of a chink in the defense.
  3. There is a greater chance of forcing an incomplete pass or turnover when extra pressure exists.
  4. Assists the offense in selecting plays throughout the game.
  5. Makes the attacker have to make decisions faster than they had planned.


Blitz football is a tactic where blitz is used to defend and increase the chances of scoring.

However, this may be accomplished for both passing and rushing plays. The goal of a blitz is not always to sack the quarterback.

In addition, defensive coaches can call different types of blitzes by bringing extra pressure inside or outside the offense — and by asking different players to do so.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.


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