Football Offset I-Formation

Football Offset I Formation

What is an Offset I Formation in Football?

An offset I formation in football is a variation of an I formation where the fullback sets up behind the guard instead of behind the quarterback. A typical offset I features two wide receivers and a tight end as pictured above, but other variations exist with two tight ends or flankers.

Offset I Advantages

Offset I formation excels at short run game play. Most often, the fullback will serve as a powerful lead blocker, punching holes in the defenses secondary for the halfback to run through. Straight dives to the strong side are a definite strong suit of the offset I, but trap plays are just as versatile. This creates some misdirection in the backfield and makes it more difficult for linebackers to read plays.

Depending on the alignment of the receivers and the tight end, offset I formation can also be great for a team’s short pass game. Often, the backs in an offset I formation will stay in the backfield to help protect the quarterback, but other times they will go out for short waggle or screen routes. Some of the most versatile plays in an offset I are the run-pass-options. Since this formation is so run-heavy, it can be easy to catch the defense off guard and throw to a wide receiver on a quick in route or slant for a pick up of five or so yards.

Offset I Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage of offset I is its dependence on the run game. It is a pretty straightforward, in-your-face offense with little misdirection. This makes the offset I formation very predictable. Though a defense may over-anticipate the run game, diligent linebackers on the defense will remain prepared for quick passes and a proper man defense coverage will prevent receivers from being open.