What Is A Hot Route In American Football?


What Is A Hot Route? 

A hot route is a tactic that allows a quarterback to quickly change a receiver’s route in response to what he sees on the field. This means that when the ball is snapped, instead of running his predetermined pass route, the receiver will run another pattern based on what he sees from the defense.

Doing this gives quarterbacks more flexibility and control over their team’s offense. It enables them to capitalize on potential weaknesses in the defense that may not have been apparent before the play begins. A great example of this was a quarterback like Peyton Manning was known for changing plays at the line and taking advantage of whatever the defense gave him.

When Are Hot Routes Used? 

Hot routes are usually used when there is some mismatch between defenders and receivers. For example, suppose only one defender is covering two receivers. In that case, it makes sense for the quarterback to call for a hot route so that one of his receivers can take advantage of this mismatch by running a different pattern than initially planned.

Hot routes can also be called when there is pressure from defenders coming from different directions; this allows quarterbacks to adjust their passing plays accordingly and beat out any potential sacks or interceptions. 

Benefits Of Hot Routes 

Hot routes give quarterbacks more flexibility and control over their offensive game plans while allowing them to take advantage of mismatches or other weaknesses in their opponent’s defenses. They are also often unpredictable, which makes them difficult for defenses to plan against—making them an invaluable tool for quarterbacks looking to gain an edge over their opponents.

By calling for a hot route, quarterbacks can quickly eliminate any potential sacks or interceptions while capitalizing on any advantageous matchups they see during live play. 


Hot routes give quarterbacks added flexibility and control over their team’s offense during live games. They can help them exploit any potential weaknesses or mismatches in their opponent’s defense that may not have been apparent before play began. By calling a hot route at the right moment, quarterbacks can quickly change their offensive strategy and gain an edge over the opposing team.