A victory formation in football refers to when a team kneels the ball to run out the clock at the end of a game. It is referred to as the victory formation because it is done when a team has effectively won the game.
The victory formation in football is also referred to as a quarterback kneel or taking a knee.
The reason the victory formation is used in football is to run out the clock. When a player is tackled in bounds in football the game clock will continue to run in between plays.
Between each play, a team can kill forty seconds off the clock if it continues to run. When a team is able to run the clock down to zero via kneeling the football they will do this if they have a lead in the game.
The reasoning a victory formation is used is becuase it offers the lowest risk way to run down the final minute or so of a football game.
Has a victory formation ever gone wrong?
As stated above the main reason the victory formation is a common play at the end of games is due to how safe it is. But this leaves many fans wondering if this play has ever went wrong for the offense.
As far as we can tell there aren’t any examples of a quarterback messing up when kneeling the ball though there has been a situation in which the victory formation lost the team a game.
On November 7th 1993 quarterback Jim Harbaugh accidentally kneeled the ball instead of spiking it.
Spiking the ball in football stops the clock and would have given the team enough time to kick a game-winning field goal.
Instead, Harbaugh accidentally choose to kneel the ball which ran out the clock and lost his team the game.
Benefits of the victory formation
One of the key benefits of the victory formation in football is that it never results in a turnover. Every offensive play has a chance of the ball getting turned over whether it is a rush or pass.
By kneeling the football you are going to keep the clock running while getting the ball downed immediately. With the play itself only lasting for a second at most there is little to no time for something to go wrong.
Another benefit of the victory formation is that it avoids injuries on the final few plays. This play is over so quickly that the majority of players are going to receive much if any physical contact.
A player getting injured late in a game that has already been decided is a coach’s nightmare. By kneeling the ball coaches are able to avoid this risk.
Clock Keeps Going No Matter What
Another key benefit of the victory formation is that it is always going to result in a running clock. When rushing the ball teams expect to keep the clock running but that is not always the case.
When running the ball to kill the clock running backs can still be forced out of bounds in resulting in a stop clock.
The act of kneeling the ball right after the snap is the only sure-fire way to guarantee that the clock will continue running.