A conservative defensive approach usually adopted when protecting a large lead late in games. Defense will guard against long pass plays by having more defensive backs retreat into coverage. This allows the offense to complete time-consuming short passes but not costly big gains or scores.
A special case of playing off in which the objective is to not give up a large score. This may entail giving up smaller scores in order to reduce the risk of a large score. Typically employed when protecting a large lead late in the game. Compare with cautious offense, playing on, playing off, desperation defense and desperation offense
a defensive strategy that utilizes deep zone coverage in order to prevent a big pass play from happening downfield, usually at the expense of giving up yards at shorter distances. Often used against hail mary plays, or at the end of the game when the defending team is protecting a lead. Disparaged by many fans. John Madden, legendary player, coach, and commentator, has been quoted as saying, "The only thing a prevent defense prevents is a win."