How to Win in Football

Utilize End of Half
By: Paul Bessire,
January 15th, 2009

7. Utilize the end of the first half: Why do we typically play the last 40 seconds of each half under different rules from the rest of the game? If there is time on the clock, something can happen. No matter how remote the chance of a game-changing act within that time, just about anything is theoretically possible. Whenever there are coaches on the field or players removing their helmets while the clock is running, that is illegal. While most of this is a conversation for an article on illogical officiating/rules, my plea here is for offenses to make use of that time primarily in the first half.

As long as there is any time on the clock, the team with the ball can score. What is wrong with attempting a Hail Mary as the clock expires in the first half? Whether the quarterback starts at the opponent's 45 or his own 11, he can make a play that has a much greater chance of producing points for his team than the other. And it's far more likely to produce points than walking off the field. I'm still waiting for the first time that a coach tries to run a play after the entire defensive team has run to the locker room.

The goal with the ball is to score points. Never let an opportunity to do that go to waste.

Go to #6 No Timeouts with Clock Stopped or go back to the Introduction for more.

Paul Bessire is the Senior Quantitative Analyst and Content Manager for and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul can be reached at Thanks!

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