A jet sweep in football is a play football in which a wide receiver comes in motion across the formation and receives the ball from the quarterback.
The vast majority of these jet sweep plays are handoffs from the quarterback to the receiver, though the ball can be shovel passed as well.
In these plays, the receiver will run across the entire formation and receive the ball from the quarterback immediately after the snap.
They will then continue running horizontally across the field until he is past the formation at which point he will attempt to run downfield.
How To Run The Sweep
There are many different variations of jet sweeps so running one of these plays can vary. The typical jet sweep looks like this.
The offensive players will assume their positions and be ready to snap the ball. The quarterback will then start his cadence letting the receiver know he can start his motion.
The receiver will then run parallel to the line of scrimmage. It is important that the receiver is not getting any closer to the line of scrimmage as he runs his jet sweep or he will earn himself an illegal snap infraction penalty.
The quarterback will then snap the ball right as the wide receiver is about to reach him.
He then hands the ball off/shovels the ball to the wide receiver as he makes his way past.
What is the difference between a jet sweep and an end around?
A jet sweep and an end-around are two very similar plays that are often confused for one another.
The main difference between the jet sweep and an end around is the use of a play fake.
In an end around the play will start as if it is going in one direction and then the receiver will take the ball from the quarterback travelling the opposite way across the formation.
In short, a jet sweep is a run to the right or left with the receiver running across the formation.
While an end around is fake run to the right or left while the receiver runs across the formation in the opposite direction of the original run.
Essentially end arounds involve a play fake in the opposite direction while a sweep has no fakes built-in.
Jet Sweep In Fantasy Football
One interesting aspect about the jet sweep is that it can play a controversial role in fantasy football.
When a jet sweep is passed to a player with a shovel pass it tends to travel a very short distance.
On some occasions, the distance is so short the play looks as though the ball was handed to the receiver and not passed.
When this happens statistics are sometimes wrongly recorded to state that it was a rushing touchdown and not a passing touchdown.
When this happens, the statistics are usually doubled checked the next day to ensure their accuracy.
When an incorrect statistic is found they do what is called a stat correction. This means they will watch the video and record the stats in the proper way.
In fantasy football, this can change the outcome of a matchup as a team may gain a passing touchdown as a result of the stat correction.
Additionally, the yardage on this play will be changed for both players. As the receiver will get receiving yards instead of rushing yards and the quarterback will get additional rushing yards.
If you play in a fantasy league with a bonus structure this may also affect the yardage total the played gained that week. If this puts them above or below the bonus this can create a noticeable swing in points.
Since these changes come a day or so after the game they have been known to determine the fate of the matchup a day after it has been concluded.
This leaves fantasy football managers wondering how a jet sweep changed the score in their fantasy football matchup.
Which Positions Run Jet Sweeps
The wide receiver position is responsible for carrying the vast majority of jet sweeps. In order for a jet sweep to occur the player is going to have to come across the formation in motion prior to the snap.
Since wide receivers line up out wide from the formation they are able to come across with great speed.
A jet sweep can also be used as a tool to get the ball in your playmaker’s hands. When a defense faces an elite receiver they may pay him more attention making it difficult to get him the ball.
If this is the case teams may look for alternative ways to get the ball in their hands. A jet sweep is one way to do that for the wide receiver positions.
The tight end position tends to be the only other position that is on the receiving end of jet sweeps. The tight end can receive a jet sweep from two different positions.
They can either start in the slot and come across the formation or start at the end of the formation beside the tackle.
Once the play starts the tight end will move inside across the formation and receive the ball as he passes the quarterback.
Giving jet sweeps to tight end is a fairly rare play but often done when a team has an especially athletic tight end on their roster. Some tight ends are incredible with the ball in their hands which means designing running plays for them can benefit your team.
Jet sweeps with tight ends can be surprising for some fans that do not know tight ends can run with the football.