THE DREADED DOWNS EXPLANATION
The reason for a specific page describing the downs and how its calculated and displayed is because it seems to be one of the most confusing things for football beginners. It's basic math and once you understand it, you'll get it!
Downs are Based on the Number10
The offense gets 4 downs to go 10 yards (at a minimum). This is where some math comes in.
For every yard you gain, you subtract from 10 what you have left to go.
Here are some scenarios of how downs are calculated and displayed throughout the game:
1st and 10 - The first attempt in a series of downs.
[10 yards minus 0 yards = 10]
2nd and 2 - The 2nd attempt. 8 yards gained and need 2
[10 yards minus 8 yards = 2]
2nd and 7 - The 2nd attempt. 3 yards gained and need 7
[10 yards minus 3 = 7]
3rd and 6 - The 3rd attempt. 4 yards gained and need 6
[10 yards minus 4 yards = 6]
4th and 9 - The 4th attempt. 1 yard gained and need 9
[10 yards minus 1 yard = 9]
IMPORTANT: Since the odds are low that they will advance 9 yards on their last try,
it's time to punt the ball to the opposing team on 3rd down. If you attempt to go for it on
4th and don't make it, the opposing team gets the ball at that spot and now
t's their time to be on offense.