Football Pass Defense

Pass Defense In Football

A pass defense in football may refer to the players defending a pass attempt or a defensive setup used to guard the pass. As a statistic, a pass defense refers to when a defensive back guards a receiver well enough for the pass to fall incomplete but not due to an error of the quarterback. A pass defense can be a forced incompletion by swatting the ball away or tackling the receiver so they drop the ball.

Pass defense may also refer to the defenders guarding the pass as a whole. With the pass becoming more and more common in football, a strong pass defense is vital to any team's success.

The two main types of pass defenses used by football teams are:

Man-To-Man Defense

Man-to-man defense is a defensive scheme in which each defensive player focuses on defending a singular offensive player. Man defense relies on the covering player being able to stay with and guard the offensive player effectively. When defending the pass, secondary players, including cornerbacks and safeties, will guard an individual player, typically wide receivers and tight ends.

Zone Defense

Zone defense in a defensive scheme where the field is divided into discrete zones and each zone is assigned a defensive player to guard it. While man-to-man defense is more about matching up evenly paired players, zone defense is about placing guards at important spots to stop the opposing team from gaining yardage. Most zones will be determined by a player’s starting position. For example cornerbacks would likely guard the wings on either side of the field.