What Is Play Action?

Are you curious to know what is play action? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about play action in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is play action?

Play action is a popular offensive strategy used in American football that involves a fake handoff by the quarterback to a running back followed by a pass attempt. It is an effective way to deceive the opposing defense and create opportunities for big plays down the field. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into what play action is and how it works in football.

What Is Play Action?

In play action, the quarterback takes a snap from the center and executes a fake handoff to a running back. The quarterback then drops back to pass and looks for open receivers down the field. The objective of play action is to deceive the defense into thinking that a run play is about to happen, causing the defense to move towards the line of scrimmage to stop the running back. This creates space downfield for the quarterback to complete a pass to a receiver who has found an opening in the defense.

How Does Play Action Work?

The success of play action relies on the defense’s ability to read the play and make a quick decision on whether to pursue the quarterback or the running back. The defense must identify the running back’s path, determine whether the quarterback has handed off the ball, and then move accordingly.

The quarterback’s fake handoff should be convincing enough to draw the defense’s attention towards the running back, opening up space for receivers to make plays down the field. If the quarterback executes the fake handoff well, the defense will hesitate to pursue the quarterback, giving the offense time to execute the pass.

When executed successfully, play action can create significant gains for the offense, as the defense is caught off guard, allowing the offense to gain yards and move closer to the end zone.

Why Is Play Action Important In Football?

Play action is a crucial part of modern football, as it is an effective way to keep opposing defense guessing and prevent them from focusing solely on the passing game. The threat of a running play makes the defense hesitate, giving the offense an opportunity to gain yards and score points.

Play action is also an excellent way to create explosive plays, as it allows the offense to catch the defense off guard and find openings in the secondary. This is particularly effective when used in combination with a talented quarterback and receiving corps.


In conclusion, play action is a critical offensive strategy used in American football to deceive the defense and create opportunities for big plays down the field. When executed correctly, play action can be an effective way to gain yards and score points, making it a valuable tool for any football team.

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What Is The Meaning Of Play-Action?

: a pass play in football in which the quarterback fakes a handoff before passing the ball. called also play-action.

What Is The Difference Between Play-Action And Rpo?

The difference between play-action passes and RPO is how the offensive line blocks. During a play-action pass, the offensive line will pass block. During an RPO, the offensive line will block for a run. These types of plays for the casual fan can get confusing to the naked eye.

Is Play-Action A Trick Play?

Some plays, like play-action fakes and draws, are technically trick plays because their purpose is to deceive the defense, even if for a split second.

Why Is Play-Action So Effective?

Play action is a type of play where the QB fakes handing off the football, before throwing it to a receiver. Play action is effective because it makes the defense think the offense is running the ball. This leads to the defense trying to stop the run, often leaving receivers open downfield.


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