Sporting Charts

Single-Wing Formation

What does Single-Wing Formation Mean?

A formation on offense that features a large offensive line, a few people in the backfield, and only one wideout at most. The single wing does not rely on a quarterback in the traditional sense, and it displays a wide array of running plays focused on getting a lot of blockers out in the play and giving the person with the ball a number of options. The single wing is rarely used in modern-day football, although some elements have evolved into the current "shotgun" and "wildcat" formations.


Sporting Charts explains Single-Wing Formation

The single wing was one of the early breakthrough formations in football. The formation would feature seven linemen and four backs of different types. The idea was to take a long snap from center and give the various backs a variety of options. This was more effective in earlier football, when the run was significantly more common than the pass. The single wing did not have receivers who would go out on pass patterns, instead focusing on blocking angles and opening holes for the backs. While the single wing has not been used for quite some time, it is similar to the wildcat formation used on several modern-day teams.

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