The power play has been around for decades for one simple reason: It just works.
We believe in the Power play, and that's why we carry so many different versions of it in our playbook.
Watch the video below or keep reading to learn about the differences between A Gap Power and C Gap Power.
A Gap Power vs C Gap Power
Today we're talking about the difference between C gap power and A gap power.
At Surface to Air System, we believe that A gap power is needed to be successful in modern football. We also carry C gap power, however, we run A gap power the majority of the time.
Let's start with the differences.
With C gap power, we're going to grab this double team on the 3 technique, we're going to run it back, we're going to down block with the center, we're going to kick out the end man on the line, pull that guard on that long pull around to that Sam backer right there, and then we're gonna open and we're gonna kind of hit that B gap to C gap.
The problem I have with that play is that if we were playing defense, we would tell our end to get inside of that block, blow it up, spill it, and force the tailback outside.
We would want to get that ball horizontally as fast as we possibly can so our Sam, our safety, and our corner (what we call our tertiary support), can get downhill.
This is why we like A gap power and in this article we're going to make sure we understand the key differences at play.
On the frontside combo we're still going to step and pick, we're still going to block back, we're going to post the three technique with our guard, we're gonna bulldoze his hip, and we're going to work at a very extreme horizontal down block.
A Gap Power vs a 4-3 Defense
However, we're going to do a couple different things with our tight end. If you're playing us in a standard 4-3 structure, we're just going to base him up and block him. The guard will do a square shuffle pull and get vertical as soon as he possibly can.
We're going to come downhill tight, we talk about staying underneath all knockout blocks. So we're going to try to actually knock the mike backer out of the hole and run inside of that block.
For us, it's an A gap to A gap run, we're going to keep the ball vertical in the A gap and we're going to try to cut it back in the backside A, whereas, the path in C gap power is more horizontal, big difference.
We talk about solutions for how to run the ball vs a 3-3 stack HERE.
C Gap Power vs a 4-4 Defense
If you had to block a 4-4 defense the difference you're going to get is astounding. If I was running C gap power I would down block that seven technique and my fullback would be kicking out the strong safety/alley player.
C gap power would probably look like this, which is a very wide path and I don’t like how wide the ball is going to hit.
A Gap Power vs 4-4 Defense
Okay, so let's go back and let's draw the same play up with A gap power blocking.
Now, we're gonna run that double team on the three technique sideways, I'm going to arc the tight end, and the Z will stalk block the corner. Now the guard is going to pull tight through the hole and try to knock out that Sam linebacker.
We'll kick out the playside end with the fullback. and now my path is under all knockout blocks with a cutback option. If that Mike linebacker flows over the top, I can actually end up cutting all the way back behind him.
Fundamentally, here's the difference you're getting, C gap power is attacking the wide area of the defense, whereas, A gap power attacks the middle of the defense.
But I would still carry both. Let's jump into the shotgun and give you a real easy look at this.
C Gap Power from the Shotgun
What I like about the ability of C gap power, which I think is a huge advantage, you can run this double team, we can down block, and end up pulling the guard around to almost half of a buck sweep play.
We could move the H back into the backfield too. With C gap power, we can down block, run that double team, kick out the nickel if he shows up as a threat, and pull all the way around.
A Gap Power from the Shotgun
Overall, I think you still have a place for that C gap power but where I think you've got a huge advantage is sticking with that tight A gap power in shotgun and now building an RPO off of that.
I think that gives you a lot better options, especially when you keep the ball super tight in the A gap.
I really think you should carry both C gap power and A gap power if you're going to be a huge power team.
One of the big emphasis points of power is don't run C gap power without A gap power or A without C, you've got to be able to do both, to be successful in a lot of things that you're doing in the game of football.