I figured out that American football is pretty simple if you put it in video game terms.
Your team starts with three extra lives. If your guys can move the ball ten yards, you hit a checkpoint and get all your lives back, but each time you fail you lose one of your lives.
Keep hitting checkpoints until you get to the end of the level, and you get a bunch of points. Or if your about to run out of lives, you can try and kick the ball for a few points. If you beat the level, you get a bonus round where you can try and make another point or two.
Either way, when the next round starts the other team spawns their dudes wherever the ball was last, so if you screw way up and can’t score you can still kick the ball to the end of the field so they spawn all the way at the start of the level, and then they play a round on offense while you try and make them lose all their lives.
And on and on, until the clock winds down and the match ends. It’s like Payload in TF2.
You can now explain football to all your non-football friends.
For further study, they can watch the anime Eyeshield 21.