I don’t know why the term pass rush has always sounded like a fancy AF football term to me, but it really isn’t hard to understand. It’s literally rushing the pass. Pass Rush. Duh. AKA doing your damnedest to pressure the QB in the hopes of causing him to make a mistake.
Pressure can come in many forms. The most simplistic way to pass rush is to have four players (usually defensive linemen) trying to run around offensive linemen (speed rush) or simply plow through offensive linemen (bull rush) to get to the QB. Teams can also use less than 4 pass rushers, opting instead to use more coverage downfield on receivers.
Then there is the always fun, always risky blitz. A blitz is when a team brings in extra pass rushers to all target the QB. It can be successful because that kind of frenzied pressure of a few extra 300lb men that want to crush you into the ground is terrifying. It is risky because it leaves the backfield completely unprotected and a quick QB can get a pass off to a receiver who would virtually have the whole field to himself.
Keep in mind that successful pass rush pressure does not necessarily mean sacking a QB. Anything from causing a missed throw, a fumble, or allowing your defense more time to read the play are all deemed “successful”.
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