What is a Pick Six in Football?

In American football, numerous thrilling plays occur on both sides. A “pick 6” is the most effective defensive move at shifting the tide of a game. We don’t see this performance very often, but when we do, it always leaves us speechless.

What exactly is a pick-six in football?

When the defensive side returns an interception for a touchdown, it is known as a pick-six. The player who intercepted the ball has a chance to score a touchdown because the defense instantly switches to offense after a turnover. Pick 6s are rare but can change the course of a game.

A select 6 is exceptionally uncommon in today’s game because so much must occur before it occurs. Continue reading if you’re a fan of American football and want to learn more about the pick-six, including why it’s called a pick-six, how to improve your chances of getting one, and some of the greatest players to ever receive one.

What’s the difference between a Pick 6 and an Interception?

As we previously stated, two events must take place for a pick 6 to occur in an American football contest. A catch is the first item on that list. Without it, a pick 6 in a football contest is impossible and will never occur.

A touchdown is a next item on the agenda. A pick-six is not called a pick-six without it.

A quarterback throws a forward pass or ball, and a defense intercepts it. (QB). It’s one of the many methods to force a turnover, and good gloves can help keep the ball in your possession. The offense finds interceptions irritating because the ball is meant for one of their players.

The defensive player who intercepted the pass has the chance to return it for a score afterward. Before that, if they are tackled, their side regains possession and receives a new set of downs.

They score a goal and receive six points if they enter the end zone unimpeded and without fumbling the ball or being tackled.

A pick-six occurs whenever an interception is returned for a score. Every pick-six must begin with an interception even though not all picks result in a pick-six. The pick-six includes a touchdown, which is the only distinction between the two.

Remember that after the player who intercepts the ball is tackled, the squad that did so receives the ball on offense. There is still a chance for the squad that intercepted the pass to score, but it must do so on the offensive side of the ball.

Why is it referred to as a Pick Six?

Anyone new to American football won’t be familiar with the correct slang and jargon used daily in practice and competition. You might be surprised to discover that the origin of the phrase “pick six” is quite straightforward if you were wondering.

Pick, the first part of the term, is colloquial for an interception. The phrase “just picked off the quarterback” or “the quarterback just threw a pick with three minutes left in the game” are examples of this usage.

The number of points given to the team that scores a touchdown after intercepting the ball is indicated by the second part of the word, which is 6 in this case.

Regardless of whether a touchdown is scored through the air, on a kickoff return, or by recovering a fumble, it always results in the same amount of points.

A pick-six can only happen on a play if there are both an interception and a score. Remember the interception (pick) and touchdown if you ever find yourself wondering where the phrase “pick six” originated. (6).

Given that most touchdowns result in seven points, some of you may be asking why it isn’t referred to as a “pick 7”. Although that is accurate, touchdowns only score six points, and extra points only score one point.

Since extra points do not follow interceptions, interceptions returned for a score are known as pick sixes.

How does the game affect a Pick Six?

In football, a pick-six is a pivotal play. Regardless of whether the team that receives the pick-six is winning or losing, it’s an opportunity to change the game’s momentum and begin controlling the tempo.

Any touchdown, it’s reasonable to say, is a significant moment in the game, but what makes a pick-six so exceptional is how it’s obtained. It strikes fear into the heart of the opposing squad and is challenging to recover from due to the psychological component.

A pick-six does much more than simply score six points, possibly seven. The opposing squad is much more agitated than before when they prepare for the offense on the subsequent drive. The quarterback is likely to second-guess himself, which could be disastrous for his squad.

One of the most useful things a defense can acquire during an American football game is this dread that is now ingrained in the QB. It alters the entire flow of the game and increases the QB’s likelihood of committing another error.

One of the most coveted qualities in a quarterback is the capacity to recover from a poor play, and this is a big reason why. 

Who usually receives a Pick 6?

Both the defense and the offense receive points for a pick-six. The quarterback will typically be given credit for the “pick 6,” while the defender will be given credit for the “interception return touchdown.” Although both terms refer to the same object, they are used to indicate which side of the ball.

Some players on the field are more likely to win a pick 6 on the defensive side of the ball. (interception return touchdown). Cornerbacks and safeties, also known as defensive backs, are typically the players who receive a pick-six.

Throughout the 2019 NFL season, 36 interceptions were recovered for touchdowns. 27 of those 36 came from cornerbacks or safeties. Beyond that, a linebacker contributed seven, and a defensive end contributed two.

Only three players in the 2019 season had more than one interception returned for a touchdown, with Marcus Peters astonishingly leading the way with three. This goes to demonstrate how uncommon they are.

Despite there being a total of 45 throughout the season, no individual had more than two in 2018. 

NFL’s All-Time Pick 6 Leaders

Some players are stronger at scoring on interception returns than others, as we saw with Marcus Peters in 2019. Some players have even developed a routine out of it over time.

Only Aqib Talib, who ranks among the top ten all-time interceptions recovered for touchdowns, is still active in the NFL. With 10 career interceptions recovered for touchdowns, he is fourth all-time. Let’s examine the remaining ten in order:

Ken Houston – 9, Deion Sanders – 9, Aeneas Williams – 9, Eric Allen – 8, Ronde Barber – 8, Charles Tillman – 8, Rod Woodson – 12, Darren Sharper – 11, Charles Woodson – 11, Aqib Talib – 10,

As we previously stated, the ability to recover after tossing a pick-six is the sign of a competent quarterback. Since they were some of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen, the aforementioned QBs threw them frequently.

If you or your favorite quarterback tosses a pick-six, don’t get discouraged; it’s going to happen occasionally.

Pick-Six in Football FAQs

1) In football, why is it referred to as a pick-six?

A pick 6 happens when a defensive player makes an interception that is then returned for a score. The phrase is derived from the six points that are given for a touchdown and the word “pick” being used to describe an interception. (before any extra points that the scoring team may attempt).

2) Is a turnover a pick-six?

When a player recovers a fumble or scores an interception and crosses the goal line, it counts as a touchdown and awards the squad six points. That is the “6” in the phrase “Pick 6.”

3) What does “Pick Six” mean?

When the defense intercepts the ball (also known as a pick) and scores a touchdown (netting 6 points) on the same play, it is referred to as a pick 6. We’ll explain pick sixes and everything you need to know about them in this piece. Our Best Coaching Program. Coaches’ Best Courses.

4) How uncommon are pick-6s?

It’s not like the Packers anticipated any possibility of a pick-six from Rodgers as they were passing toward the conclusion of the half. It only occurs approximately once every 1,800 tries.

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