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Controlling the Clock

What is Controlling the Clock?

A strategy in which a team will attempt to maximize the amount of time of possession that their offense registers in a particular game. A team that is controlling the clock will have their offense on the field for the majority of the game. This keeps the opposing offense from scoring, as well as wearing down the opposing defense by keeping them having to play many downs in a row. Teams that control the clock tend to be focused on running the football.

Sporting Charts explains Controlling the Clock

Controlling the clock is a strategy involved in trying to control the pace of a football game. Teams will focus on running plays rather than passing plays, since incomplete passes stop the clock. These teams will use a lot of the play clock before each play, allowing as much time to elapse as possible before snapping the ball. Often, the team that controls the clock will also control the game, since their offense will have the ball more than the other team. Defenses will substitute often against a clock controlling team to try and keep their players rested.

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