The Offense Has to Keep the Ball Away from the Other Team's Quarterback
How many times do we hear announcers say that the offense has to keep the ball away from the other team's quarterback? This is usually accompanied by some picture of the other team's QB sitting on the bench or throwing the ball (what else would they be doing?).
Why is this idiotic? Well this strategy does work in football. It just only works in what the rest of the world calls football, not in American football. You see in soccer, you can kick the ball back and forth the entire game. There are no first downs. You can, theoretically control it the whole game. If you score once and control it the rest of the game, you can win. This used to work in college basketball as well before the shot clock was implemented.
In American football, eventually you either score, turn it over, punt or the half ends. There is no other outcome. Eventually (unless the half ends) the other team gets the ball.
Let's look at 2 games:
Game 1, Team A's offense does not control the ball well. There are 12 possessions for each team in the entire game. Team A scores 3 points per possession and Team B scores 7 points per possession. Team B wins 84-36.
Game 2, Team A's offense controls the ball. There are only 4 possessions for each team in the entire game. Team A scores 3 points per possession and Team B scores 7 points per possession. Team B wins 28-12.
The ball control strategy doesn't allow Team A to win. They just lose by fewer points.
Barring a huge number of successful onside kicks, each time will have a roughly equal number of chances to score. The focus should be on scoring as many points when you have the ball as you can and on trying to prevent your opponent from doing the same.
Now, obviously, if you have a lead, running out the clock is a solid strategy. You can actually prevent the other team's QB from ever getting the ball again. But if the game is tied (as it always is at the beginning of the game) or if you are behind, you need to focus on outscoring the other team, not on holding on to the ball. So the next time you hear some idiot announcer repeating this blather, hit the mute button.