1. American Football
  2. Scrimmage Downs
  3. 2nd And 1

Football Second and 1

Table of Contents

What is Second and 1 in Football?

A second and 1 in football is the second down in the down cycle with one yard to gain to convert to a first down.

How Does a Second and 1 Occur?

The second down indicates that one play has previously been run by the offense and a first down was not achieved. The 1 is the yardage remaining in order to reach a first down. In most cases this means the offense has just run a play on first down which resulted in a nine yard gain.

The nine yards gained can also be a combination of a five yard penalty and a four yard gain.

Strategies When Faced with a Second and 1


The offense has the advantage in an early down short distance situation. They could just pick up the one yard by running up the middle, maybe with a quarterback sneak. An offense can also use the down as a chance to take a shot down the field to try and gain a big chunk of yards. They would do so knowing that they would have a third down and one, even if they threw an incompletion.


The best case scenario for a defense when faced with second and short is to tackle the offense for a loss resulting in third down and a medium yard distance. That can happen with pressure, which is called a blitz. Blitzes are a good way to sack the quarterback or tackle the running back for a loss.

See Also

1st and 101st down1st down line2nd and 102nd and goal2nd down3rd and 13rd and goal3rd and inches3rd and long3rd down4th and 14th and 104th and goal4th and inches4th and long4th downcountdown markerdrive markerturnover on downsfirst and goal


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