A rare defensive formation in football comprised of seven down linemen, two linebacker and two safeties. Also known as the “seven box defense.”
The 7-2-2 defense was introduced shortly after the turn of the 20th century, when football rules mandated a defense of seven down linemen. It is generally regarded as an unsophisticated formation that is strong against the run, but weak against the pass. The interior linemen were expected to hold their ground against the run, while the tackles and ends were responsible for pass disruption. By the middle of the century, the 7-2-2 was mostly considered obsolete, as offensive blocking schemes could easily defeat it. The modern 3-4 is actually considered a variant of the 7-2-2 with wider spacing and different stances.