Gap (American football)

Gaps in American football are the spaces in between the splits of the offensive linemen.[1] A hole is a space in between the defensive linemen.

Shoot the gap

Shooting the gap is a term used in American football.[2] To "shoot the gap", a defensive lineman will exploit the space between the offensive linemen during a pass rush.[3] The defensive lineman is usually one of the defensive tackles. The gaps are given different letters depending on their distance from the center. The gaps between the center and the guard are known as the "A gaps", and the gaps between the guard and the tackle are known as the "B gaps". Shooting the gap requires the defensive lineman to turn his shoulders and get past the offensive line into the backfield by any means possible, usually by diving through the gap. The play is often used during a blitz, as the defense will try to rush past the offensive line in order to get to the quarterback and cause a quarterback sack.


  1. "Durkin's Football 101: Gaps, Techniques & Alignments". 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  2. "Shooting the Gap Definition - Sporting Charts".
  3. "Football: Winning Defense - Bud Wilkinson - Google Books". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
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