A term for an offensive play that fails immediately after the snap. Typically, a busted play is called when a particular player misunderstands the play call and attempts to run a different play. Busted plays are often catastrophic for the offense because the quarterback is left to adlib without the proper protection or a way to get the ball to another player. Busted plays can often result in a turnover due to the miscommunication between offensive players.
When a busted play occurs, usually the best case for the offense is to merely get back to the line of scrimmage and try again on the following play. The most common form of busted play is when the quarterback turns to hand the ball off to the running back, but the running back ran a different play. At that point, the quarterback has to make what they can out of the play. Depending on the offensive line, a busted play can leave the quarterback to get sacked or fumble the football.