What Is an Out Pattern In American Football?

out pattern

What Is an Out Pattern In Football?

An out-pattern pass in American football is a passing play where the quarterback throws the ball to a receiver running a route away from the middle of the field. This pass type is typically used when the quarterback wants to avoid throwing into traffic or give his receiver a chance to run after the catch.

Out-pattern passes can be very effective, but they can also be risky because they require the quarterback to make a precise throw and the receiver to have good body control. If either player makes a mistake, it can result in an interception or incomplete pass.

How To Execute

When the quarterback is confident in his ability to read the defense and understand the route tree, he can begin to look for his targets. The first step is to identify the coverage. If it is man coverage, he will look for a receiver who has created separation from his defender. If it is zone coverage, he will look for an open receiver in an area of the field where there are no defenders.

Once the quarterback has identified his target, he must deliver the ball with enough velocity and accuracy to reach the receiver. If the ball is thrown too soft, it will be easy for the defender to intercept. If it is thrown too hard, it will be difficult for the receiver to catch. The perfect pass should be thrown with just enough velocity to reach the receiver without being intercepted.

After the ball is thrown, the receiver needs to secure the catch. He should tuck the ball away into his body so that there is no chance of it being knocked loose by a defender. Once he has secured the catch, he can run upfield.

Types Of Out Patterns

Curl Route: The receiver runs about 10 yards downfield before turning back toward the quarterback. This route is often used against zone defenses because it allows the receiver to sit down in an open space and gives the quarterback an easy target to throw to.

Hitch Route: This is similar to the curl route but only goes for five yards before the receiver turns back toward the quarterback. This route is often used in short-yardage situations because it doesn’t require the receiver to gain a lot of yardage after the catch.

Go Route: The receiver runs straight downfield as fast as he can. This route is typically used when the offense tries to beat a man-to-man defense deep.


Out-pattern passes can be a very effective way to move the ball downfield, but they require precise execution from both the quarterback and receiver. If either player makes a mistake, it can lead to a turnover. But when run correctly, out-pattern passes can pick up big chunks of yardage and put the offense in a good position to score.