ITP Glossary: End Around

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From punt gunner to climbing the pocket, 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.

End Around

Also called the “jet sweep”, an end around is an offensive rushing play where a wide receiver comes from his position on the outside of the formation and takes a handoff or pitch, running what is essentially a sweep to the opposite side of the formation. Teams may also employ pre-snap motion with the wide receiver in order to hand the ball off to him more quickly. The end around puts stress on the linebackers and defensive backs, who must be disciplined and stick to their assignments.End Around Color Diagram

The St. Louis Rams run the end around, or jet sweep, with wide receiver Tavon Austin on this play. Austin starts lined up in the slot, to the right side of the formation. He is a full two yards back from the line of scrimmage and roughly in-line with where the quarterback will be as he completes taking the snap and turning:NFLReview4RamsPlay1Still2

The ball carrier must get to the edge as quickly as possible, making any unblocked defenders miss as he goes. Here, Arizona Cardinals defensive end Josh Mauro (#97) is unblocked and has a free shot at Austin, but the WR makes him miss:

The shifty WR rounds the bigger defensive end and turns upfield, dancing out of bounds after gaining 12 yards on the play.

The motion of an end around forces defenders to stay home, delaying their reactions to run plays to the other side of the formation. The Rams use this ghost motion, and fake an end around to Austin after this handoff to running back Todd Gurley:

The defense is tasked with flowing to its right, matching the offensive line’s angles and attempting to bring down the talented RB – but the momentary deception employed by the end around helps Gurley gallop for 52 yards.

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

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