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=) asked in SportsFootball (American) · 3 months ago

In Football, what's the difference between a "run" and a "pass"?

So I'm currently looking at an NFL dataset. I want to find out whether its best to throw the ball to the sides, or run into the middle (where all the other football players are).

There's a field called "play type" in the dataset, and it has two values - pass vs run. I can also look at the pass direction, and the run direction.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago
    Favourite answer

    A run is when a player takes the ball and runs forward to gain yardage.

    A forward pass is when a player throws the ball forward to an eligible receiver, who tries to catch it before the ball hits the ground.  When the ball is passed, it flies through the air, and the defense can try to catch it. Therefore it is not as safe to pass the ball. When a player runs the ball, the defender may knock it out of his hands. It is called a fumble if the ball comes out of the runner's hands. A fumble can also be recovered by the defense.

    So, whether one runs the ball or throws a pass, there is a chance the opposition can take the ball away. In general, the pass usually gets more yards than the average run. That is why teams will try to pass when they need more yards to get a first down. Getting a first down lets a team retain possession. Not getting a first down means a team will either surrender the ball on 4th down, or try to kick a field goal or punt the ball on 4th down.  The aim is to make the opponent guessing as to whether the offense will run or pass the ball.  If the defense is playing the pass, the run may gain good yardage. When the defense is playing the run, then the run is less effective in gaining yards. An offense must gain 10 yards net to get a first down in most situations. 

    • =)3 months agoReport

      Thank you, I understand the concept of football, just didn't understand the difference between a run and pass (bf told me something different).

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    A run is when you run with the ball, a pass is when the quarterback throws the ball and someone catches it.

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