Not a football fan but have a Super Bowl party to attend Sunday and want to sound like you love the pigskin? Then do not fear -- this guide to football terms and definitions will have you speaking like a true fan in no time while also making you sound knowledgeable about the game.
Let’s start with football terms that will show up on the television screen during Super Bowl XLVII.
Down and distance: The offense has four tries to get a first down before either being forced to punt or kick a field goal. The down and distance, for example, will appear like this on the screen: 1st and 10, 2nd and 8, 3rd and 15. At the start of an offensive possession, the offense usually has to gain 10 yards to get a first down, unless the possession starts at the opponent’s 10-yard-line or closer. In this case, the down and distance will be 1st and goal, 2nd and goal, etc. The first number will indicate what down, or attempt, the offense has, while the distance indicates how much yardage the offense will need to get a first down.
Now that you understand down and distance, let’s go through some scoring plays that may be seen in Super Bowl XLVII. The score will also be displayed on the screen.
Touchdown: This is when the offense (or defense, in a turnover) gets into the opponent’s end zone. A touchdown is worth six points. The point after touchdown, or PAT, is a kick after the score and is worth one point for a successful attempt.
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Turnovers: These occur when the offense loses possession to the defense. A turnover can either be a fumble (a running offensive player drops the ball, and it’s picked up by the defense) or an interception (a quarterback’s pass is caught by a defensive player).
Field goal: This is when the kicker attempts to kick the football in between the goal posts. A successful field goal is worth three points.
Safety: This is the rarest scoring play in football, and chances are one won’t occur in Super Bowl XLVII. But just in case, a safety is when the quarterback is sacked (tackled before the line of scrimmage) in the end zone by a defensive player.
That covers the scoring plays. Now let’s get into the players featured in Super Bowl XLVII and their positions.
Positions: NFL.com has a useful guide to all the positions on the football field here.
Here’s a list of notable players on the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens teams, along with their positions.
Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick, 49ers; Joe Flacco, Ravens
Running backs: Frank Gore, 49ers; Ray Rice, Ravens
Tight ends: Vernon Davis, 49ers; Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Wide Receivers: Michael Crabtree, 49ers; Torrey Smith, Ravens
Linebackers: Patrick Willis, 49ers; NaBorro Bowman, 49ers; Ray Lewis, Ravens; Terrell Sugs, Ravens
Cornerbacks: Carlos Rogers, 49ers; Tarell Brown, 49ers; Cary Williams, Ravens; Corey Graham, Ravens
Safeties: Donte Whitner, 49ers; Dashon Goldson, 49ers; Ed Reed, Ravens; James Ihedigbo, Ravens
Defensive ends: Justin Smith, 49ers; Ray McDonald, 49ers; Haloti Ngata, Ravens; Pernell McPhee, Ravens
That covers all you need to know as far as football terms and players for Sunday’s game. Enjoy Super Bowl XLVII!