American football is a team game that is played on a rectangular field. Each team has 11 players and the aim is to score points through touchdowns and field goals using an oval shaped ball. It is a contact sport where players wear shoulder pads and face protectors. American football is a different game to English football (soccer).​

American football idioms and phrases

Many idioms originate from American football and here is a list of them with examples.

  • blindside
    meaning – be surprised in a negative way
    example – We were all blindsided by his decision to quit the panel.
  • drop back
    meaning – move to the back of the group
    example – Richards dropped back and waited for the pass from Mcdonough.
  • kick into touch
    meaning – stop something happening/succeeding
    example – Our plans for a new home have been kicked into touch now I’m unemployed.
  • kick off
    meaning – the start of an event/activity or start arguing/fighting
    example – I’m leaving work at 6, so I’ll be back in time for kick off.
  • on the sidelines
    meaning – not actively participating
    example – Thomas has hurt his knee, so he’ll be on the sidelines today.
  • run with
    meaning – be in charge of something and do it independently
    example – Do you think I can trust Ryan to run with the case while I’m away?
  • tackle something
    meaning – deal with a task/problem/issue
    example – I’ll tackle the pile of paperwork on my desk after lunch.
  • touch down
    meaning – score in rugby/American football or when an aircraft lands
    example – I scored a touchdown in the last minute to win us the game.

PICTURE American football idioms and phrases

sports idioms and sayings - american football idioms and phrases
American football phrases - kick into touch
American football idioms - kick off
American football idioms - on the sidelines
American football idioms - run with
American football phrases - tackle something
American football idioms - touch down

You can download a table of American football idioms below.