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Football Loss

What is football loss? Get ready to learn about loss in football.

What is Loss in Football?

A loss in football occurs when a team has scored fewer points than the opposing team by the complete end of the game or overtime, or when the game is forfeited for any reason. A loss can hurt the team's standing in their league or prevent them from advancing in a competition.

Scoring Less Points

The objectives of any football team are to score more points than the other team and to stop the other team from scoring at all. If a team does not do both of these things, they will lose the game. Neither team has to score a set amount of points to win, since a team can win a game by scoring only 3 points or by scoring 70 points, depending on how many points the other team scores.


Forfeits in professional football are extremely rare, as they usually occur when a team does not have enough players to play or when the team unanimously decides they do not want to play the opposing team. There has never been a recorded forfeit in the NFL, but they occur more often at the high school or recreational level.

What Happens After a Loss?

In the NFL, a loss changes the team's overall record and can lower their position in the standings. A team who is 6-0 is much more likely to make it to the playoffs than a team that is 2-4. In the NFL Playoffs, a loss eliminates the team and removes them from Super Bowl contention.

In NCAA football, the overall record is used to decide which teams are given bowl games, but is not always the deciding factor in which teams go to the College Football Playoffs. In determining who participates in the playoffs, schedule and opponent level are also taken into account.

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