What Is A Blitz In Football? An Informative Answer In 2022

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There are numerous tactics and strategies basketball teams use to stop opposing attackers. It would be confusing to repetitively hear these terms spoken by commentators and don’t know what they are. 

Among football’s popular tactics, the blitz is the first one you should be aware of. So, what is a blitz in football? What are the types and purposes of a blitz? 

If you are wondering these questions, you have come to the right place. I will discuss the definition of the blitz in detail and give you an in-depth look into this popular tactic. Keep scrolling down to learn more!

What Is A Blitz In Football?

What is the blitz in football? Blitz is a popular defensive tactic performed when more than five defenders rush to the scrimmage line and disrupt the opposing offense. The purpose of this act is to prevent the quarterback from moving forward or making a pass.

However, it’s not the only way to perform blitz since you can hinder the offense in different ways, such as forcing the offender to throw an incomplete pass or stopping him from moving forward. 

Since the spread offense tactic was revolutionized and became popular, the defenders have to cover the fast receivers in all 53.3 yards. This revolution gives the quarterbacks more influence on the game by reading and placing the ball.  

Blitz is one of the unique and effective ways developed by the coaches to create more pressure on the opposing quarterback. The defensive players traditionally line up in 5, 4, or 3 down fronts on the scrimmage line. 

These defensive lines will move forward when the opposing quarterback approaches and perform a blitz. They will run at the highest speed possible to tackle the quarterback and retrieve ball possession. 

This tactic allows the defensive players to pass through opposing offenders and offensive lines.

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Sagging The Quarterback

Why Is It Called A Blitz?

Blitz is the shorter version of “blitzkrieg,” a German term used in WW2, which means “lightning war.” As its name suggests, the German army utilizes this tactic by invading territories with air and land assault. 

The main traits that make blitzkrieg effective are speed and unpredictability. It will surprise the enemies and put them under tremendous pressure to tackle.   

This is the inspiration for the term Blitz used in football, indicating that the defense is trying to tackle the opposing quarterback via tremendous pressure. There are also players sent to perform this tactic, who’re called Blitzers. 

What Is The Purpose Of A Blitz?

What does it mean to blitz in football? To answer this question, you have to understand this tactic’s purpose. 

An effective blitz can surprise the opposing linemen, allowing a defender to get through and tackle the running quarterback. This not only prevents the quarterback from moving forward but also retrieving ball possession. 

This tactic puts tremendous pressure on the offenders, forcing them to perform an early pass when the plays haven’t developed. By disrupting this perfect timing, the opposing team’s offense has much less chance to succeed.

Sometimes the blitz is very annoying and can affect the offender’s mentality, thus increasing the chance of him making mistakes in the game. 

How To Blitz In Football?

When performing a blitz, 6 players are traditionally sent upward to the scrimmage line while the 5 others cover opposing offenders. Each player covers an offender, thus minimizing the chance of defensive mistakes. 

However, blitz comes at very high risks and high rewards, so it’s not always successful. The primary purpose of this tactic is to pressure the offender and rush him to make a wrong decision. 

If the quarterback didn’t make a mistake and the blitz was countered by the offense, it would pose an enormous threat to your team’s backline. The typical consequence of ineffective blitzes is losing 6 points.

Different Types Of Blitzes?

There are three primary types of blitz varying based on the position, situation, and a number of players engaged in them. Here are some common tactics you can encounter in any football game. 

Zone Blitz

In a zone blitz, a few defenders will move back to the covering zone. In contrast, the linebackers move forward and substitute their positions. This move is problematic to spot and often confuses the quarterback. 

The main advantage of this play lies in its unpredictability. When facing a zone blitz, the quarterback will struggle to predict who is approaching and who is blacking to the covering zone. 

Secondary Blitz

The secondary Blitz witnesses the movement of backlines from the secondary or safety cornerback. These players will rush toward the scrimmage line to surprise the offenders and force them to make wrong predictions. 

Zero Blitz

Another popular type is zero blitzes. It comes with the highest risks but also the most worthy return. In a zero blitz, only two zero players stay at the backline while the whole defense rushes forward to counter the offense. 

Each defender will cover an offender from the opposing team. Zero blitzes are very effective in countering the team running plays. 

If you want a more in-depth demonstration of a blitz, consider watching this video!

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There Are Many Variations Of Blitz


Can You Blitz Every Play?

Blitz is a very common and effective tactic, but it’s not applicable in every circumstance. Modern football has developed numerous tactics to count Blitz. In addition, the teams have grown familiar with this strategy. 

The Blitz should not be carried out when the timing and unpredictability are lost. 

What Is The Difference Between A Pass Rush And A Blitz?

The difference lies in the number of players engaged in the play. A simple pass rush happens when only 4 or 3 players run to the scrimmage line from the back zone. 

If there are 5 or more rushing to the scrimmage line, the play is considered a blitz.

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A Blitz And A Pass Rush Are Not The Same.

What Is An All-Out Blitz Called?

An all-out blitz, also known as the “Alabama blitz,” is also a prevalent football strategy. In this play, all 8 defensive players are sent toward the box to chase after the opposing offenders.  

What Is It Called If A Linebacker Rushes The Quarterback?

The play when a linebacker rushes the quarterback is called a pass rush. He will charge across the scrimmage line and rush toward the opposing quarterback. 

This tactic aims at stopping the quarterback from moving forward and quickly tackling a quick offense. 

Final Thoughts

A blitz happens when the defensive players rush toward the scrimmage line to surprise and block the opposing quarterback. It helps stop a quick offense and retrieve ball possession. 

So, what does blitz mean in football? I hope that you can easily answer this question after reading this post. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to comment and let me know. 

You having a great time reading this post is my biggest appreciation. Consider visiting Scott Fujita to discover more interesting information about football and other sports. Thank you for your precious time!

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