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What is Down?

An attempt by the offensive team to move the ball 10 yards or more to score points.  Each team gets four downs to gain 10 or more yards. Every 10 yards results in a first down.

Sporting Charts explains Down

Failure to gain 10 yards in four downs results in a punt, field goal attempt, or a fourth
down attempt. "4th and 26" is one of the historic downs in NFL playoff history. In a January 2004 playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers, Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb completed this long fourth down pass that kept a crucial drive alive. The Eagles went on to win the game in overtime.

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