Prevent Defense

January 15, 2014
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You have all heard people say “it is time for the ‘prevent defense’ to end this game”.  What usually happens is the “prevent defense” prevents the team using it from winning.  No one wants the opposing quarterback to throw a 60-yard pass over the head of your defense to win the game in the last few seconds, but rushing just three players and allowing the quarterback 5 seconds to pick out a receiver is not going to keep that team from marching right down the field.  I am not a football coach, but I would think that playing that same defense that you have played the whole game–and it has worked–would be the best bet for the last few minutes of the game.  You can keep one guy back and have the other 10 play their normal defense.  This should prevent that one player from getting behind the whole defense and stand waiting for the winning touchdown pass.  You saw it in the national championship game and you see it at every level of football being played.  Any quarterback worth his starting job can throw against a 3-man rush and find an open receiver, but when 5 or 6 guys come flying at him his accuracy drops quickly and he might even throw an interception.  I have yet to see any “prevent defense” really work.  Some times the other team is inept enough that they still can’t move the ball and you win, but most of the time you spent the last two or three minutes biting all of your fingernails off and in the end the team scores and you lose.

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