Football Pass Routes

What are Pass Routes in Football?

A pass route in football is a pattern or path that a receiver follows prior to making a catch. There are a variety of different routes that receivers run, and they all vary in distance too. Most commonly organized into a route tree, the receivers have plenty of routes that they are responsible for.


The slant is a short route in which receivers cut inside towards the middle of the field. After running forward a very short distance, the receiver cuts at a 45 degree angle across the field. This route is normally used to gain a short amount of yards.


The curl route is exactly what it sounds like. After running forward a certain distance, the receiver quickly changes directions and works back towards the ball. The goal of this route is to trick the defender into thinking the receiver is going to keep running forward rather than cutting back.


 The post route is used to make a long pass attempt. The receiver starts out by running at least 10 yards down the field before slowly cutting across the field towards the middle. The post route tests the deep safeties of the defense.

Stop and Go

The stop and go is a route where the receiver begins by running straight down the field. At a certain point the receiver stops and fakes the defender into thinking he is turning around, before running forward again on a deep run. The hope is that the defender bites on the fake.


Unlike the stop and go, the receiver in this routes attempts to run a straightforward route down the field without ever stopping. In this route, the receiver is best suited to have very good speed in order to beat his defender to a spot where the ball is thrown.


These routes are very similar in design. Both routes begin with the receiver running straight down the field before cutting his route at a 90 degree angle to a certain side. If the receiver cuts to the middle of the field, it is known as an “In route.” If the receiver cuts to the sidelines, it is known as an “Out route.”