Can You Identify These Famous Football Plays from an Image?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Via Inside the Pylon

About This Quiz

Red five. Eighty-five, 686 Pump F-Stop on two; hut… hut… HIKE! Are you ready for this hard hitting quiz?

Football (or as it is known officially, “gridiron football” or “American football”) is by far the most popular sport in the United States. The sport itself is formally well over a hundred years old, with the first game being played in November of 1869 – between Princeton and Rutgers. However, at this time the game was actually very similar to soccer in terms of rules. 

It wasn’t until about a decade later that the concepts that we are familiar with today emerged; like the snap and downs. This change is due largely to Walter Camp, a player and coach who is unanimously regarded as the “Father of American Football." In this gridiron quiz, we are taking a look at the strategic side of the sport – the plays that can mean the difference between a stunning success or a disgraceful defeat.

Football sometimes gets a bad rap for being a “dumb” sport that is only played by muscle-headed jocks, but this is simply not true. The amount of tactics that goes into the plays in football, especially on the fly during a game, is unlike the level of strategy that can be found in any other team sport in the world.

So, are you just a towel boy; or do you think that you have what it takes to call plays with the best of them? C’mon, let’s get into this quiz and find out!

This play refers to a scenario where a team ends up backed up near their own goal line and they choose to “take a safety” and give the opposing team two points in addition to the ball. This is done instead of punting it away on fourth down and giving the other team an excellent field position.

The fake field goal is a play that is exactly what it sounds like. It is trick play that involves a running or passing play that is done out of a kick formation – usually the holder of the ball will either throw or run.

A play that is simple but effective, a sweep pass can usually be carried out by anyone regardless of their skill level. It is simply meant for a running back to run to the outside like he is going to run a sweep, but then attempt to pass the ball to a receiver down the field.

A favorite play for quite a few teams, the naked bootleg can result in a relatively easy touchdown if it is done correctly. The play is most often seen being run close to the goal line and has a greater chance of success with a quarterback who is agile.

The tricky younger brother of the regular spike, the fake spike is a trick play that was frequently used by Peyton Manning. The objective is to trick the defense into believing that no downfield play will be run, especially when an actual spike would be an effective play to stop the clock.

A play that every fan is familiar with, a punt simply consists of a drop kick that is done after the ball has been released from the hands but before it has touched the ground. While simple, it is one of the most effective ways to shake up a game.

Best when run out of certain formations, like the I-formation, the running back pitch is a play that is similar to a sweep; however, instead of the quarterback handing the ball off, he will instead pitch it to the running back.

With a name that speaks for itself, the triple tight ends play is exactly what it sounds like. The tight end is a position that can serve the role of both an offensive lineman and a wide receiver. While it can seem unconventional at times, it is a play that is difficult to stop.

The coffin corner kick is a play that is a great way to cause changes in field position. It is a type of punt that is meant to pin the other team back near their own end zone and more importantly keep the ball out of the hands of a dangerous punt returner.

While its name may sound silly, the fumblerooski has proven time and time again to be an effective trick play in football; although it is risky as well. The center snaps the ball to the quarterback, who then runs like he has the football; however, he actually leaves it sitting on the ground for the guard to scoop it up and take it the other direction.

The victory formation is a football play that also is also known by several other names, including; “quarterback kneel”, “genuflect offense”, or “taking a knee”. It is simply referring to when the quarterback immediately kneels on the ground – ending play on contact.

Named after the iconic statue in New York City, the Statue of Liberty play actually has had several variations over the years. The name comes from the positioning of the quarterback as he hands the ball off – one hand in the air and the other at his side.

Although it is actually classified as a trick play, the reverse has become so common that it is expected in almost every game. In this play, the quarterback drops back and hands the ball to a receiver who can then take it around the corner

The original flea flicker is a trick play in its own right; however, its older brother, the reverse flea flicker, is even trickier. However, as a result, it is far riskier to run and is far less common.

An onside kick is a kickoff that is deliberately kicked short. This is done with the hope that the kicking team can regaining possession of the ball before the receiving team can control it.

A well-known trick play that is effective when it is run by skilled players. The flea flicker is designed to fool the defensive team into thinking that a play is a run instead of a pass.

The fullback dive is a play that is not seeing as much use in football (especially college football) nowadays; however, it can still be very useful at times. It is best used when a larger fullback can get a hold of the ball and have only a few yards to bulldoze his way to a touchdown.

While a squib kick can seem like a cowardly play to use, it can be tactical in the sense of getting more advantageous field positioning. This play consists of a short, low, line drive kickoff that will annoyingly bounce around on the ground before it can be picked up by a member of the receiving team.

While it may not seem like an actual play because of how commonplace it is in football; a field goal is in fact an essential play that usually forms an integral part of a team’s scoring in a game. Since field goals are usually more important in college level football, those kickers tend to be under more pressure to perform.

The post pattern is a football play that can actually be run out of a wide range of formations. However, this play has several variations, the key aspect is that the wide receiver (who is central to this play) will move toward the field goal post.

The quarterback sneak oftentimes doesn’t actually live up to its name, because at those specific times there isn’t anything sneaky about it. In this play, the quarterback takes the center snap and then dives straight ahead while the offensive line moves forward.

Also sometimes referred to as a hook, button hook, or a hitch; a curl route is a football play that is centered around the receiver. The receiver will look like he is running a fly play but will eventually turn around and look for a pass.

The fake punt is widely considered to be one of the most basic trick plays in football; however, it is still commonly used to this day because of how effective it is. It simply involves a passing or running play that comes out of a punt formation.

A screen pass is a football play that can prove to be very effective under the right circumstances; however, it can also be very risky as well. This is because it can be very easy for a good defensive player to intercept the pass.

The halfback draw is simple enough to understand but is relatively difficult to execute effectively. The quarterback gets the ball and draws the attention of the opposing defense before handing it off to the running back, who then ideally bypasses the initial defenders and has some room to breathe.

The running punt is a great play if you are facing off against a skilled team and a particularly dangerous punt returner. It is effective because teams who use it will hopefully not get their punt blocked.

The fake Statue of Liberty is the less popular sibling of the tried and true Statue of Liberty play. The fake Statue of Liberty is very effective and can definitely catch the opposing team off guard when executed properly.

An example of a two-quarterback set is where the quarterback would be lined up for the ball and the wide receiver/backup quarterback would throw the ball to them in the end zone. An unorthodox but contextually effective play.

The wildcat is a play that is fairly new in terms of being defined, and it will sometimes be seen as being played similarly to a two-quarterback set. This play puts a running back in the backfield acting like a quarterback.

When done by skilled players, the wide receiver slant is almost impossible to cover. It serves the purpose of being a great way to gain a few yards in a crucial time.

While “hook and ladder” is the name that is commonly used for this specific play, the actual correct name of the play is “hook and lateral”. The quarterback throws a pass to a wide receiver who then flips it to another wide receiver or a running back who typically will have some freedom to move.

The hidden ball play is sometimes also referred to as the “hidden ball trick." It referred to a play where the offense tries to deceive the defense about the location of the ball so that they have the freedom to gain a few yards.

The hitch & go is quite possibly the prime example that a trick play that is simple but effective. The core concept of this play is the quarterback will drop back to pass but then swing a fake to get the defense to flounder, then the actual throw will be thrown to a wide receiver that should be wide open.

If you want to classify the jump ball play, then it could best be described as a less impressive and less dangerous alternative to the renowned Hail Mary play. It works best on a team that has a big wide receiver.

Probably one of the most iconic plays in football; or at least the one with the most iconic name. As the name suggests, the Hail Mary is a last ditch effort by a team to win a game and fittingly, the play has a significantly low success fate.

While it may be more specific than the other plays in this quiz, the Boise State 2-point conversion has earned its place here because of how spectacular it was. The actual game itself – the 2007 Fiesta Bowl – has been dubbed as one of the greatest college football games ever played.

The halfback pass is a football play that can be run in a relatively wide variety of ways, one of the most common being run out of the shotgun. In this play, the running back will run to the outside after taking the ball, then he will throw the ball down the field to the wide receiver.

The spike is the more popular and simpler relative of the tricky fake spike. The spike is one of the most trusted plays in football and is often used to stop the clock when the end of a half (or the entire game) is approaching.

A sweep is a running play in football where the running back takes the handoff from the quarterback and then starts to run parallel to the line of scrimmage. This allows the offensive linemen and fullback to get in front of him to block defenders.

The option is one of the oldest plays in football, and as a result it is also one of the plays that is the most varied as well. During an option play, the quarterback is given the choice between either pitching the football the running back behind him or keeping it instead.

The draw is a whole subset of plays where the core concept is a running play that is disguised as a passing play. By far, the most common variation of this is the QB draw (quarterback draw), where the quarterback runs the ball himself.

The reverse pass is a football play that can technically be run from anywhere on the field. However, this play is most effective when there is a great amount of space to work with, as well as a nimble quarterback and skilled wide receiver.

While some people will sometimes mistakenly call an end around play a reverse play, this play ends up having less activity involved. The end or wide receiver will cross the backfield to get the handoff directly from the quarterback.

The fake handoff is exactly what the name suggests, the person who has the ball will fake a handoff to an expected recipient. This is done in an attempt to get some relatively free movement and it can really tick off the opposing team when this simple trick play works extremely well.

The play action pass is a football play that initially starts out looking like a running play but then smoothly turns out to actually be a pass play. It is largely considered by many to be the counterpart to a draw play.

The halfback off tackle is a simple football play that has existed for a while now. This is a running play that has the possibility of going to either the left side or the right side off of a tackle at that position.

Many professional teams consider the double reverse to be one of the easiest plays to get right whenever it needs to be done. The double reverse is very similar to the normal reverse play; it just has an additional change of field as a part of it.

Yes, the extra point (also known as a “conversion”, a “point after touchdown”, or a “PAT”) is technically a play in football, although many may not see it as being one. It happens immediately after a touchdown, during which the scoring team is allowed to attempt to score one extra point by kicking a field goal, or two points with a touchdown.

The go pattern is a football play that is simple in concept but sometimes hard to execute. The success of this play depends on the just how much faster the receiver is than the defenders. If done correctly, this is perfect for an easy touchdown.

The option shovel pass is a football play that is a variation of the option. An actual option play can be run in a wide variety of ways and one favorite strategy of college teams is to attempt it with a short shovel pass forward.

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on

Explore More Quizzes