The blindside in football refers to the side of the pass rush the quarterback cannot see. Most of the quarterbacks in the NFL are right-handed which means their blindside is on the left. This means the left tackle is almost always responsible for protecting the quarterback’s blindside.
When a quarterback is looking to throw the ball his back is going to be turned to one side of the offensive line. This makes it incredibly difficult for the quarterback to feel the pressure that is coming his way.
If the defensive end on his blindside is able to get around the tackle he is going to have a free shot at the quarterback. If the quarterback doesn’t feel this pass rusher coming he is going to be on the receiving end of a big hit.
This is what makes the left tackle position so valuable. If the left tackle fails to protect the blindside then the quarterback is at risk.
For this reason, left tackles are one of the highest-paid positions in the NFL right behind quarterbacks and pass rushers.
The term blindside became famous due to the story of Micheal Oher. Micheal Oher played left tackle in the NFL after struggling through a difficult upbringing. His story was made into a movie that was aptly named the blindside which made this term quite popular in football.
Why Is The Blindside So Important?
Now that you know the blindside refers to the side of the pass rush the quarterback cannot see it is time to break down why this portion of the field is so important.
One of the main reasons that the blindside is important in football is because of turnovers. When a defensive pass rusher is able to get a blindside hit on the quarterback the potential of a fumble is quite high.
When players take hits in football they usually see them coming. Due to seeing the hit coming the ball carriers are usually protecting the ball so they do not lose it.
When a quarterback is hit in the blindside the ball is likely being held in one hand away from their body.
This makes it much more likely that it is going to come loose. This paired with the fact the quarterback is being hit by one of the strongest players on the field means a turnover is likely.
When these fumbles happen it is often fifty fifty whether the offense will be able to recover it. In most cases, this is going to result in a race of the offensive line and defensive line to the loose ball
If a defender picks up one of these fumbles in stride it is likely they will carry it back for a touchdown. This is why blindside hits that result in fumbles are often referred to as a scoop and score. These sort of disastrous plays can be avoided if a team equips itself with a quality blindside blocker.
Another reason that the blindside side is so important in football is due to the potential injuries on the quarterback.
There are few quarterback hits that are going to be more violent than a blindside sack in the pocket.
When hit from behind at a fast pace the quarterback will often face whiplash along with other injury concerns. These sorts of hits can place a quarterback in the injured reserve in a hurry.
The quarterback is the one player that football teams cannot afford to lose. If the quarterback is injured on these plays it is going to greatly affect the team’s ability to win the game.
This makes pass protecting the blindside all the more important.