- A football team is divided into three units:
Defense: the group that tries to stop the other team from advancing the ball and scoring touchdowns and field goals
Special Teams: handle punts and kickoffs
- The quarterback is the offensive player who steers the ship. You can always find him since he is the only guy with his hands place between the big butt cheeks of his center. If you locate him, you are on your way to understanding how a play develops. The quarterback will either hand off the ball to a running back or throw it to an open receiver, or sometimes run it himself.
- The guys facing him (the defense) have to stop the offense and keep them from getting a "first down," which is the first in the series of four downs (tries) in which an offensive team must advance 10 yards to retain possession of the ball.
- If the offense gets the ball in the end zone, they score six points with a chance to score an extra point with a kick through the goalpost. Or, they can kick a field goal worth three points.
- Often, the defense gets the ball back because of a fumble (player drops ball) or an interception (the quarterback's throw gets caught by a defensive player).
- There are four 15-minute quarters throughout the game. The actual game lasts longer than that, with time-outs and commercial breaks. A coin toss decides which team has the ball for the first half, and then the other team starts on offense at the beginning of the second half.