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The prevent defense is a defensive alignment in American football that seeks to prevent the offense from completing a long pass or scoring a touchdown in a single play and seeks to run out the clock. It is used by a defense that is winning by more than a touchdown, late in the fourth quarter, or in specific situations, such as third-and-very-long if it seems clear that the offense must pass the football to gain long yardage.
The alignment uses five or more defensive backs (or players in that role), preferring fast players over large players. They back up so far that they concede short-yardage plays but try to ensure that no receiver is uncovered downfield or can get behind them.
The prevent defense concedes short gains, such as four to eight yards per play, as long as the clock keeps running, but aims to prevent plays resulting in longer gains.
Safeties and cornerbacks pull back to a "safe zone" five to ten yards off the line of scrimmage, and the free safety often plays as far as twenty yards back. The defense does not jam receivers on the line. The prevent defense employs zone defense, in which each defensive back is responsible for an area of the field rather than a specific player. The backs watch the quarterback's eyes to determine where he intends to pass the ball.
When used late in the fourth quarter to run out the clock, the sidelines become an important area to defend, as a player who receives a pass near the sideline can run out of bounds and stop the clock. The defender's priority is less to prevent a reception than to keep the receiver in bounds following one. This keeps the clock running and reduces the amount of time the offense has to score.
The prevent defense uses five or more defensive backs.
The nickel defense has five backs, so named because the nickel is the five-cent coin.
The dime defense has six backs, two linebackers, and three down linemen.
The quarter defense has three down linemen, one linebacker, and seven defensive backs.
The half-dollar defense has eight defensive backs, no linebackers and three defensive linemen. The rare package is used when the offense needs to score a touchdown on the very next play, such as with a desperation Hail Mary pass. In theory, dollar defense (nine backs) and twoonie defenses (ten backs) are also possible but, for practical reasons, are almost never used; similar scenarios may involve linebackers replacing defensive linemen.
Professional teams may not have enough defensive backs on the roster to play the quarter or half-dollar defenses, so wide receivers sometimes fill the extra positions, particularly in late-game situations when the receivers' offensive skills can be put to defensive use.
When the defense concedes short plays, an offense that can practice clock management effectively can score without executing the long pass the defense seeks to prevent. Some coaches avoid using the prevent defense and choose instead to continue playing the same defensive schemes that seemed to be working well to that point. John Madden once said, "All a prevent defense does is prevent you from winning."
By conceding to the offense many easy gains for short yardage but no big play, the prevent defense can make the end of the game uninteresting for fans.
The attempt to prevent a long-yardage play can be a victim of individual effort, as happened to the Denver Broncos in the 2012 AFC Divisional Round playoff game. With less than 40 seconds to play, the Baltimore Ravens needed a touchdown to tie the game and faced a third down from their own 30-yard line. Broncos safety Rahim Moore allowed Baltimore receiver Jacoby Jones to get behind him and catch a 70-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco. The Ravens went on to win the game in double overtime.
A running back (RB) is a member of the offensive backfield in gridiron football. The primary roles of a running back are to receive handoffs from the quarterback to rush the ball, to line up as a receiver to catch the ball, and block. There are usually one or two running backs on the field for a given play, depending on the offensive formation. A running back may be a halfback, a wingback or a fullback. A running back will sometimes be called a "feature back" if he is the team's starting running back.
Strategy forms a major part of American football. Both teams plan many aspects of their plays (offense) and response to plays (defense), such as what formations they take, who they put on the field, and the roles and instructions each player are given. Throughout a game, each team adapts to the other's apparent strengths and weaknesses, trying various approaches to outmaneuver or overpower their opponent in order to win the game.
Gameplay in American football consists of a series of downs, individual plays of short duration, outside of which the ball is dead or not in play. These can be plays from scrimmage – passes, runs, punts, or field goal attempts – or free kicks such as kickoffs and fair catch kicks. Substitutions can be made between downs, which allows for a great deal of specialization as coaches choose the players best suited for each particular situation. During a play, each team should have no more than 11 players on the field, and each of them has specific tasks assigned for that specific play.
The National Football League playoffs for the 1991 season began on December 28, 1991. The postseason tournament concluded with the Washington Redskins defeating the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI, 37–24, on January 26, 1992, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A halfback (HB) is an offensive position in American football, whose duties involve lining up in the backfield and carrying the ball on most rushing plays, i.e. a running back. When the principal ball carrier lines up deep in the backfield, and especially when that player is placed behind another player, as in the I formation, that player is instead referred to as a tailback.
In American football, the specific role that a player takes on the field is referred to as their "position". Under the modern rules of American football, both teams are allowed 11 players on the field at one time and have "unlimited free substitutions", meaning that they may change any number of players during any "dead ball" situation. This has resulted in the development of three task-specific "platoons" of players within any single team: the offense, the defense, and the so-called 'special teams'. Within these three separate "platoons", various positions exist depending on the jobs that the players are doing.
In American football, a play is a close-to-the-ground plan of action or strategy used to move the ball down the field. A play begins at either the snap from the center or at kickoff. Most commonly, plays occur at the snap during a down. These plays range from basic to very intricate. Football players keep a record of these plays in a playbook.
In American football, a nickel defense is any defensive alignment that uses five defensive backs, of whom the fifth is known as a nickelback. The original and most common form of the nickel defense features four down linemen and two linebackers. Because the traditional 4–2 form preserves the defense's ability to stop an opponent's running game, it has remained more popular than its variants, to the extent that even when another formation technically falls within the "nickel" definition, coaches and analysts will refer to it by a more specific designation that conveys more information with equal or greater conciseness.
The New England Patriots generally run a modified Erhardt-Perkins offensive system and a Fairbanks-Bullough 3–4 defensive system, though they have also used a 4–3 defense and increased their use of the nickel defense.
Zone coverage is a defense scheme in gridiron football used to protect against the pass.
The following terms are used in American football, both conventional and indoor. Some of these terms are also in use in Canadian football; for a list of terms unique to that code, see Glossary of Canadian football.
In gridiron football, a penalty is a sanction called against a team for a violation of the rules, called a foul. Officials initially signal penalties by tossing a bright yellow or orange colored penalty flag onto the field toward or at the spot of a foul.
In American football, the dime defense is a defensive alignment that uses six defensive backs. It is usually employed in obvious passing situations. The formation usually consists of six defensive backs, usually two safeties, and four cornerbacks, and has either four down linemen and one linebacker, or three down linemen and two linebackers. This formation is used to prevent the offense from completing a medium- to long-range pass play. This may be because the offense's running game is inefficient, time is an issue, or they need a long pass for a first down. It is also used against teams whose pass-to-run ratio predominantly favors pass. The formation, however, is vulnerable to running plays as the formation is missing two linebackers, or a linebacker and a down lineman.
The 2012 season was the Denver Broncos' 43rd in the National Football League (NFL), their 53rd overall and their second under head coach John Fox. The offseason was marked by the signing of former Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning on March 20, leading to the team trading incumbent quarterback Tim Tebow to the New York Jets. The Broncos did not have a first-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, and selected defensive end Derek Wolfe as the team's first pick in the second round of the draft.
The 2013 season was the Denver Broncos' 44th in the National Football League (NFL) and their 54th overall. It also marked their 30th season under the ownership of Pat Bowlen, the second with Peyton Manning as the team's starting quarterback and the third under head coach John Fox.
The 2014 season was the Denver Broncos' 45th in the National Football League (NFL) and their 55th overall. It also marked the third season with Peyton Manning as the team's starting quarterback.
The 2015 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League and the 56th overall. It was also the fourth season with Peyton Manning as the team's starting quarterback, as well as the final season of Manning's 18-year NFL career.
The 2018 Denver Broncos season was the franchise's 49th season in the National Football League and their 59th overall.
The 2021 season was the Denver Broncos' 52nd season in the National Football League and the 62nd overall.