If you are a football fan you have likely heard the term “trap game” used when describing an upcoming match against an easy opponent. But what exactly does the term trap game mean in football?
There is no official definition of the term trap game but consensus online is this.
A trap game occurs when a quality football team plays an opponent that they can easily defeat. This causes the team in question to overlook their inferior opponent making it more likely that the underdog will win.
Alternate Definitions Of Trap Games
At the end of the day the term “trap game” is slang so there are understandably a few different meanings of this term. Knowing these other definitions of this term may make it easier for you to understand this term when you hear it in context.
Looking to the next opponent
Some football fans only consider a game a trap game if there is a big matchup the following week. Say the Chiefs are playing the Jets and then the Raiders. Under this definition, this game would not be considered a trap game.
This is because the Raiders aren’t a good enough opponent to justify looking over the Jets. Now say the Chiefs were playing the Jets and then the Bills. Under this definition, this would be a trap game.
This is because as of writing this the Bills would be a tough and important matchup for the Chiefs.
This definition relies on the superior team taking less of a focus on their immediate opponent. And instead, focusing on the game two weeks ahed..
There is no winning a trap game
Another alternate definition of a trap game is a game in which winning doesn’t get you any credit and losing would be a big upset. This could occur if a quality team plays one of the bottom teams in the league.
In these games, the team cannot prove anything or gain momentum because the competition is deemed too poor. Not to mention the garbage time at the end of lopsided trap games makes the score look much closer than it is.
At the same time, they could still lose the game and have to risk that potential embarrassment when they play.
This makes it a trap game because there is no real way to win in the spectator’s eyes.
What Can You Do To Avoid Trap Games
At end the of the day trap games occur when you make the mental mistake of looking past an opponent. Luckily this can easily be fixed through effort and discipline.
To consistently avoid trap games you must learn to respect all the other teams you may play in a year. So long as you respect each team you play you will find you will not be looking past some opponents over others.
At the end of the day if you are playing a team that means they are in the same league as you. You and your team need to understand this and avoid putting yourselves on a pedestal. This will help to ensure that your team plays consistently and beats the teams you are favoured against.
Be ready for the unexpected
Throughout a football season there are going to many plays which can hurt or help your team. Something as simple as a dropped pass or a fumbled ball can determine the outcome of the game.
With seventeen games to play in the regular season it is likely you will have at leas one game where the ball isn’t bouncing your way.
When playing a weak team you need to be ready to account for this unlucky bounces.
At any point, a pass could be tipped and result in a game-changing interception or even a touchdown. These sorts of unpredictable plays are often what allow weaker teams to beat their opponents.
When playing in a trap game teams need to play through these mishaps and understand they need to lead by more than one possession.
So long as a trap game stays a once score game the opponents are only one play away from taking the lead or tieing the game.
The better team in these games need to be sure to keep their foot on the gas in order to pull away from their opponents.
By letting a weaker opponent claw their way back into a game you can leave your team susceptible to losing a trap game in football.