1. Home
  2. American Football
  3. Football 2nd And 1

Football 2nd And 1

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.