What Is a Double Fake In American Football?

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What Is a Double Fake In Football? 

At its core, a double fake is a play designed to deceive the defense. It’s usually executed by the quarterback, who makes one motion with his arm or body as if he’s going to pass or run, then follows up with another motion that suggests he’ll do something else entirely. This misdirection can draw defenders away from their assigned zones or create an opportunity for a big gain. 

When Is The Double Fake Used?

Double fakes are typically used in long-distance situations where the quarterback needs time for his receivers to get downfield and into position to catch the ball. They can also be used when there are more defenders than intended targets on the field.

If you can fool some of them into thinking you’re going in one direction while actually going in another, you have more options available for moving forward with your play. 

How Do Teams Use Double Fakes? 

The key to using double fakes effectively is understanding how defenses will react—and anticipating those reactions before they happen. This requires knowing your team’s strengths and weaknesses, studying film on opponents’ past performances, and mastering techniques like faking out defenders with eye contact and body language.

Once you’ve mastered these skills, you can use double fakes strategically when the opportunity arises, such as when an overly aggressive defender needs to be tricked or when there’s no clear passing lane open due to defensive positioning. 

When Is The Best Time To Utilize The Double Fake?

A quarterback may want to execute a double fake when the defense is playing zone coverage. If the defense is playing zone, the quarterback can fake a throw to one receiver in order to force the defenders to react and then throw to another receiver who should be open.

When the defense is blitzing is another good time to use it. If the defense is blitzing, the quarterback can fake a throw to one receiver in order to get the defenders to bite on the play and then throw to another receiver who should be open.


A double fake by a quarterback is an exciting and potentially game-winning trick play designed to deceive opposing defenses. While it takes practice and skill to execute successfully, once mastered, it can give teams an edge over their opponents in crucial moments of a game. With proper preparation and timing, this creative maneuver could be just what your team needs.