What Is A Bunch Formation In Football

A bunch formation in football refers to the grouping of three receivers in a small area of the field. Bunch formations are often run by the offense in order to confuse defenders and gain a numbers advantage when the defense is playing zone.

Bunch formations are almost always made up of three receivers or two receivers and a tight end. In most cases, one of the three receivers will be on the line of scrimmage while the other two are on either side of him a step back from the line.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of A Bunch Formation

Like any other formation in football, there are advantages and disadvantages to this part of the game. Below we will break down how this formation can help and hurt your team.

Advantages

Exploits Zone

One great benefit of this formation is that it can exploit a zone defense. For those that don’t know a zone defense relies on defensive players covering a certain area of the field as opposed to a specific player.

This makes it difficult on zone defenders as there are three receivers in such a small area. These receivers can stretch out the zone defense and find holes in the coverage. This is all made possible because the numbers of receivers in the bunch are going to outnumber the defensive players protecting the zone.

Tough To Cover In Man

It can also be tough to cover a bunch formation in man coverage. The reason for this is because having a man on each receiver means there is going to be six players in a small portion of the field.

This makes it difficult to cover your man and is an ideal time for the offense to run pick plays. These plays capitalize on getting defenders to run around other players, which in turn creates separation for your receiver.

Spread Defense

The final advantage of the bunch formation we are going to cover is how it spreads out the defense. If you are trying to compensate for the three receivers lined up outside the formation you are going to spread your defenders out.

Placing a bunch formation on the outside is a common strategy when looking to have fewer players in the box. By forcing more defenders to spread out towards the sideline you open up more running lanes for your running back.

Disadvantages

They Know Where The Ball Is Going

One negative of the bunch formation is that the defense has a pretty good idea where the ball is going. Since you have three receivers on one side of the field it makes it much easier for the defense to determine which side of the field to prioritize.

The vast majority of the time a bunch formation the ball is thrown to one of the receivers or a run play is called. Defenses key in on this and will realize the limitations that the bunch offense has.

Few Backup Options

Another issue with the bunch formation is that you put all your eggs in one basket. With three receivers all lining up in the same area of the field there are not many other options.

You may have one receiver on the opposing side of the field but for the most part, this bunch formation makes up the majority of your receiving options. If the defense is able to cover your bunch formation you are not left with many options to move the ball forward.

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