| November 25, 2015

Last updated: November 14, 2017

Health & Sports, How To: Holiday, Sponsored, Sports

5 Winning Turkey Bowl Plays

backyard football plays playbook illustration thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day, backyards across America turn into gridirons where friends and family battle it out in the annual Turkey Bowl. While the beauty of these pick-up games is a certain amount of chaos, having a few set plays up your sleeve can increase your chances of securing a win, bragging rights, and one of the turkey drumsticks. Below are 5 offensive football plays that you can use to captain your team to victory. When the game’s over, celebrate your win with a warm mug of Winter Jack.End Around Option Passbackyard football play diagram end around option passIn the end-around, a wide receiver sweeps behind the line of scrimmage towards the opposite end of the line and takes a hand-off from the quarterback. The receiver can continue running with it or throw a pass to an open receiver.The end-around requires a proper setup for it to work effectively. Execute the setup by first running a few plays to the right. This will get the defense anticipating plays in that direction. Then, on the third or fourth play, run the end-around. All receivers should still run routes to the right. The far right receiver runs behind the line of scrimmage towards the left side of the field. As the receiver passes the quarterback, the quarterback hands the football off to him.If all goes according to plan, the defense will start defending towards the right. The misdirection created by the receiver running left should have the defense confused and on their heels.The receiver can continue running up field, or if it looks like he’s going to get tackled, he can stop at the line of scrimmage and pass the pall to another receiver. The quarterback is a good target as he’s usually unaccounted for by defenders.Wide Receiver Crossbackyard football play diagram wide receiver crossThe cross is a simple pass route that helps open up receivers. Two receivers (one on the left and one on the right) run 10-yard slant routes. The one on the left runs a right slant and the one on the right runs a left slant. They should cross paths at the center of the field. If the defense plays man-to-man, the crossing pattern will create a blockage of bodies in the center of the field. Hopefully one of the receivers can break free. Hit the receiver that’s open.Hook and Ladderbackyard football play diagram hook and ladderTo run the hook and ladder, the middle-right wide receiver runs a slant towards the left, while the wide-left wide receiver runs a 15-yard flag route. Hit the far-left receiver with the ball. Now here’s where the trickification comes in. After catching the ball, the receiver pitches it to the slanting middle-right wide receiver. The left-receiver who just pitched the ball throws a block as the middle-right receiver runs down the sideline for a touchdown.Flea Flickerbackyard football play diagram flea flicker
The flea flicker’s goal is to get the defense to bite on a run play. When they do, the offense turns it into a pass play. Line up with a running back in the backfield with the quarterback. The quarterback hands the ball off to the running back who starts running towards the line of scrimmage. In order for this play to work, the RB really needs to sell the idea that he’s intending to take the ball all the way down the field and does so by running hard, chin down, with the ball cradled in his arm.However, when the running back reaches the line of scrimmage, he suddenly stops and pitches the ball back to the QB. After pitching the ball, the running back continues running downfield for a pass. Because the defense has moved in to defend the run, the QB shouldn’t have a hard time finding an open receiver. He could even throw it to the RB, who by now is heading down the field.Triple Option Passbackyard football play diagram triple option pass
Not too many teams run the option, which is a shame, because it’s fun to watch and fun to execute. The option pass gives a team three different options to get down field depending on how the defense responds to the offense.To run it, line up your team with a running back standing behind the quarterback. After the quarterback takes the snap, both the quarterback and the running back sweep to the left. If things look clear, the quarterback can keep the ball and run up field. That’s option one. Option two is pitching the ball to the running back. If it looks like a defender will tackle the running back, the quarterback’s final option is to pass the ball to an open receiver up field. The defenders will have likely moved in to defend the run, so a receiver should have the end zone all to himself. Easy touchdown.