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How an Offense Can Beat a Defense in American Football

Passing against a zone coverage.

When a defensive secondary is playing zone — meaning the cornerbacks are playing off the line of scrimmage — they aren’t in press coverage. The best pass against a zone coverage is the curl, and the best time to use it is on first-and-10. A receiver (WR) runs 10 to 12 yards and simply curls, or hooks back, toward the quarterback (QB). He usually curls to his left and attempts to run his route deep enough to gain a first down.

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