Football 2nd Down
What is 2nd Down in Football?
Second down in football is the second of four downs in the down cycle. If the offense doesn’t reach the first down marker on the first down, it then becomes second down. Third down comes after second down if the offense does not reach the first down line on second down. If the offense reaches the first down line on second down, they are awarded a first down.
How Far Is 2nd Down from 1st Down?
The distance from the line of scrimmage to the first down line varies on second down. This is true of every down except for first down, which is almost always first and 10 (first down and 10 yards to the first down line), barring a penalty that may gain the offense five yards while replaying first down.
Yards gained or lost on first down always transfer to second down. For example, if the offense gains three yards on first down, the next play will be on second and seven (second down and seven yards to the first down line). The same system applies to all of the downs in the down cycle, except for fourth down, where failing to reach the first down line results in a turnover on downs.