What Is A Blitz In Football?

While watching a football match, you might often hear about a blitz. So, blitz is a useful defense strategy in American football. In this strategy, defense players run to the Quarterbacks. Now they either can sack the Quarterbacks, or force them to make an inappropriate pass during the rush. This is an effective technic by the defense players that increases their chances to win the match.

Now, there are generally four types of blitzes. Keep reading to learn more.  

Different Types Of Blitzes

A blitz is considered a single-down play from the defensive players in a football match. 5 or more 5 players try to get to the scrimmage line in order to make the offense an inappropriate pass. Quite amazing, isn’t it?

So now that you know what is a blitz in football, you should learn the different types of blitzes. Generally, you will see four types of blitzes in a football match.

1. Inside Linebacker Blitz

In an inside linebacker blitz, extra pressure is created right in the middle. A linebacker has to rush between an offensive player that guards the zone and the center, via one of the gaps called A.

Now, they have to create extra pressure in the middle of the offense line, and for that, another linebacker has to blitz via another A gap. In this way, 2 blitzing by 2 linebackers will create a four-on-three situation in the center.

2. Outside Linebacker Blitz

Well, unlike an inside linebacker blitz, here, the players from the defense have to get the offensive players outside the edge of the scrimmage line. In this strategy too, a linebacker has to force the quarterback to rush.

Now, here, the linebacker has to strike between the tackles and the guards from the offensive players, via the B gap. In this way, extreme pressure will be created at the edge of the protection scheme of the offensive line.

3. Double Outside Linebacker Blitz

A double outside linebacker blitz is another form of the outside linebacker blitz. It is basically a double-down play. It means that both the linebackers from the outside force rush the QB along with another linebacker who drops back the pass coverage.

Thus, immense pressure will be created on two sides of the field. To do a double outside linebacker blitz, the footballers should be experienced enough. For junior players, this strategy might seem a little complicated. If you are experienced enough with this particular strategy, you, as a defensive player can drop a defensive end back along with the blitz.

4. Secondary Blitz

A secondary blitz is the most common strategy to disrupt the pass attempts of the players from the offense. In a secondary blitz, you have to force one of the secondary members to rush and make an improper pass.

If the defensive players want to blitz a linebacker from the corner, then they have to put immense effort into pressurize the QB. Therefore, it will increase the chance that the QB will make an offending and inappropriate throw to pass the ball.

Here, the job the of linebacker from the corner is to take the QB out of his comfort zone when the blitz takes place.

In case you want to blitz a safety, then you should stop a running play on the track.

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Why is it Called a Blitz?

A blitz is a common term in the world of football. But why is it called a blitz?

The term ‘blitz’ comes from the German phrase ‘blitzkrieg’. It indicates ‘lighting war’. This particular term reveals meaning itself. Those who do a blitz have to strike fast in an effective way. Their sole purpose should force the players from the offense to make an errant throw or to leave the player exposed.

The coordinator of the St Louis Cardinal first called this kind of strategy a blitz in the year 1960. This is also called the red-dog play, which was developed later in the 1940s. here, a linebacker has to make a 6-on-5 situation against the players from the offense.

This strategy is named after Red Ettinger. He was a linebacker for the football team of Kansas University. He was the first-ever person to make a strategy of the blitz in 1948.  

10 years from then, this had been called the red-dog strategy. After that, blitz became a more popular term among fans. Till then, this special kind of strategy used in American football has been known as a blitz.

What Is the Purpose of a Blitz?

Last but not the least, what is the purpose of a blitz in football? The primary purpose of a blitz is to pressurize the QB extremely, but there is more than that. There are other purposes of a blitz as well. A blitz can enhance the chances to win the match by forcing the offense to do an improper pass attempt.

A proper blitz can stop the outside run.

A blitz can also prevent an inside run.

When the defense makes a blitz, it directly pressurizes a QB in the middle.

Another purpose of a blitz is to make extreme pressure on an outside QB.


1. When can you blitz in football?

You, as a football player will be able to blitz in a match on first down. By doing a blitz, you attempt to dismiss the pass delivered by a player from the offense.  You can also make lost yardage by doing a blitz to make it hard for the offense to pass the ball. Blitzing is quite fruitful. But this strategy can be quite risky as well.

2. What is the difference between a rush and a blitz?

A pass rush and a blitz are two tactics used by the defense players to prevent the pass from the offense. But they are not the same. In a football match, a pass rush happens when the player from the defense crosses the scrimmage line to the QB.

A blitz is done for attacking the offense players all around the field. A blitz can be considered a rush if more than 5 defense players get to the QB. Blitz is one of the effective strategies used by the defenders in a football match.

3. How do you spot a blitz?

As a football player, you need to be experienced enough to spot a blitz. In case you notice the safeties or the linebackers cheat towards the scrimmage line, they might try to do a blitz. So, when you see something like this, you need to warn the linemen. The linemen then cover him to stop the blitz.

4. How does blitz work?

A blitz is basically a strategy used by the defense players in a football match to prevent pass attempts by the offensive players. When a blitz takes place, 5 or more 5 players rush to the opposing QB to force him to disrupt his pass attempts.

5. What is a red dog in football?

In American football, the players from the defense use the red dog strategy against the players from the offense. In this strategy, a linebacker rushes to make a six-on-five matchup against the line of the offense.

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