ITP Glossary: Go Route

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From dagger concept to Cover 0, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.

Go Route

A go route is vertical pass pattern run along the left or right side of the field, rather than the middle (seam route), in which the receiver runs straight down the field at full speed toward the end zone. The play is intended to exploit the superior speed of elite receivers to gain separation from defenders, or to stretch the defense vertically, opening intermediate windows. The go route can also be used as a decoy, drawing the attention of defenders, clearing out space for another receiver. Also called a fly pattern, vertical, 9-route, and streak.

California has 11 personnel in the game, with a trips formation to the left, and a single receiver set outside right. The offense runs three receivers deep on the go route, with a tight end dragging underneath:CFBPreview6CalPlay2Still1

Wide receiver Bryce Treggs (#1) isolated on Washington State safety Isaac Doctson (#31). Treggs runs right by the safety, and quarterback Jared Goff hits him in stride for the score.

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In this example, the receiver at the top of the screen is running a go route, indicated by the straight red arrow:NFLReview4WashingtonPlay3Still3

From this end zone camera angle, you can see how Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins read his progressions: initially opening up to the right and checking the go route to the outside. He is perhaps trying to influence the safeties before moving to the weakside, where he checks Jamison Crowder‘s pivot route before finally finding Pierre Garcon‘s dig route:

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The vertical go route is often used as a decoy, trying to draw the attention of deep safeties or cornerbacks. The routes can be used to clear out space for another receiver to cut into, looking for the now vacated, soft spot in the coverage.

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Mark Schofield wrote this entry. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

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