What Does 4th and Goal Mean?

Fourth-and-goal in American-style football means the offensive team is on its final down and the goal line is the line to reach. The offense has two playing options.

The offense has four downs in order to make a first down. When an offense has achieved a first down inside the defensive 10-yard line, it has four downs to score. On fourth-and-goal, the offense has two play choices: run or pass for a touchdown or kick a field goal.

In the NFL, if the offense does not score on a run or pass, the ball is awarded to the defense where the fourth-down tackle was made. If a field goal is missed, the defense receives the ball at the 20-yard line or where the kick was taken, if it was kicked from beyond the 20.