Tuesday, April 23, 2024

What Is A Pick 6 In Football? A Complete Guide

What is a pick 6 in when it comes to football? It is explained the term “pick 6” refers to the score that is achieved when a defensive player makes an interception and then returns it for a touchdown. In American football, there are many thrilling plays that can happen on either end of the field. This is true for both offense and defense. A “pick six” is the defensive play that has the most potential to flip the momentum of the game than any other play. It is a performance that we do not see very often, but whenever it does take place, it undoubtedly knocks us off our feet. So, what is a pick 6 in football?

What is a Pick 6 in football?

When a defending squad scores a touchdown after returning an interception, this play is known as a “pick 6.” After a turnover, the defense immediately becomes the offense, so the player who recovered the interception has the opportunity to score a touchdown. Pick 6s aren’t very common, but when they do occur, they can completely change the course of a game.

The fact that a pick six occurs so infrequently in modern football is due to the fact that a lot of things have to take place before one can occur. If you are a fan of American football and want to learn more about the choice six — including why they name it a pick 6, how to increase your chances of obtaining one, and some of the greatest players who have ever earned them — this article is for you.

The phrase originates from the utilization of the word “pick” to characterize an interception, and the six points that are rewarded for a touchdown in American football (prior to any extra points that the scoring team may attempt). A pick six is a catastrophic defensive play because it completely shifts the momentum of the game from the offensive team to the defensive team. The team that scores a pick six does so without even having its offensive players contact the ball.

Difference between an Interception and Pick 6

A pick six is an interception that is returned for a touchdown by the same player who made the interception. The only difference between an interception and a pick six is that the latter requires the ball to be recovered for a touchdown, while the former does not.

In fact, for a pick six to occur during an American football game, it is necessary for two events to take place, as was discussed earlier. The first item on that list is a pick-off or a fumble recovery. Without it, a pick six cannot occur in a football contest and won’t ever happen in the history of the sport.

A touchdown comes in at number two on this particular chart. In the absence of it, a pick six will be counted as an interception.

When a defensive player hauls in a forward toss or ball that has been hurled by the quarterback, this is known as an interception (QB). A good pair of mittens can assist in securing the ball and making this play, which is one of many that can be used to cause a reversal. Because the ball is supposed to go to a member of the offense’s squad, interceptions are extremely annoying and aggravating for that unit.

Following a successful interception, the defensive player who retrieved the ball has the opportunity to score a touchdown by regaining possession of the ball and running it into the end zone. If they are brought down before that occurs, then the opposing team regains possession of the ball and begins a new series of downs.

They will score a touchdown and receive six points if they are successful in entering the end zone without being brought down by an opponent or mishandling the ball.

The term “pick six” refers to any situation in which an interception is recovered for a touchdown. Every pick six must begin with an interception, even though not all interceptions lead to a pick six at the conclusion of the play. One touchdown is awarded for a pick six, but not for an interception. That is the only distinction between the two.

Bear in mind that the team successfully intercepts the football and goes on offense with the ball after the player who successfully intercepted the ball is subdued. The squad that successfully intercepted the throw still has a chance to score, but they will need to do so while playing on the attacking side of the ball this time.

Why Do They Call It A Pick Six?

When a defensive player successfully picks off an opposing player’s throw, they are credited with making a “pick.” This term comes from the phrase “pulling off the forward pass.” When an interception, also known as a pick, is recovered for a touchdown by the opposing squad, the side receiving the interception is granted six points.

Although a lot of people are under the impression that a touchdown is worth seven points, this is not the case. A touchdown is only worth six points, so in order for the squad to earn seven total points, they need to execute the extra-point kick after scoring the touchdown. Because of this, the term “pick six” is used to refer to an interception that is then recovered for a touchdown by the receiving team.

How Many Points Is A Pick Six Worth?

Simply put, a pick 6 happens when a defensive player makes an interception and then returns it for a touchdown in the same play. It is derived from the phrase “pick,” which is used to refer to an interception, and the six points that are rewarded for a touchdown (prior to any extra points that the scoring team may attempt).

How Does a Pick Six Affect the Game?

In football, a move known as a pick six can completely alter the course of the game. It is irrelevant to the outcome of the game whether the team that receives the pick six is ahead or behind; they will have the opportunity to change the flow of the game and start gaining control of the speed.

It is accurate to state that each and every touchdown is an important part of the game; however, the manner in which a pick six is achieved is what makes it so remarkable. It is like putting a stiletto in the heart of the opposition squad, and because there is a degree of psychology involved, it is very difficult to come back from this.

A pick six does a great deal more than just adding six or seven points to the scoreboard. When the opposing team starts their next drive out on offense, they are far more unsettled than they were before. The quarterback runs the risk of over-thinking his choices, which may be very detrimental to his team.

During an American football game, one of the most important things a defensive team can do is inspire dread in the quarterback. This terror is one of the most helpful things a defense can gain. The whole dynamic of the game is altered, and the quarterback is placed in a position where there is a greater likelihood of making another error. It’s a big part of the reason why being able to get back on your feet after making a mistake is one of the most desirable qualities in a quarterback.

Who Generally Gets a Pick 6?

When the defense gets a pick six, the offense gets a prize as well. In most cases, the quarterback will be credited with a “pick six,” while the defensive player will be given credit for an “interception return touchdown.” The phrases are used to differentiate which side of the ball is being played, even though they both signify the same thing.

What Is A Pick 6 In Football

All-Time NFL QB Pick Six Leaders (Since 1950)

As of January 12, 2023, the list of players is given below

PlayerRankPick 6
Brett Favre132
Dan MarinoT-229
Matthew StaffordT-229
Joe Namath428
Drew BreesT-527
Peyton Manning T-527
Philip Rivers725
Carson Palmer T-823
Vinny Testaverde T-823
Eli Manning T-1022
Norm Snead T-1022

All-Time NFL Interception Returns for Touchdown Leaders

As of January 12, 2023, the list is given below

Rod Woodson112
Darren SharperT-211
Charles WoodsonT-211
Aqib Talib410
Ken HoustonT-59
Deion SandersT-59
Aeneas WilliamsT-59
Eric WilliamsT-88
Ronde BarberT-88
Janoris JenkinsT-88
Charles TillmanT-88

How to Increase the Chance of Getting a Pick 6

A defensive player’s odds of making a game-changing interception on any given play depend on six factors: strong hands, defensive IQ, team blocking, speed, the ability to break tackles, and vision.

Let’s analyze each one in more detail:

  1. Strong Good hands are essential for a successful interception.
  2. You need a high defensive IQ to anticipate the play and position yourself to make the pick.
  3. When the pass is picked off, your side must be prepared to block the other team without giving up a penalty.
  4. The ability to see the field is crucial for the ball carrier to avoid being tackled. The objective is to reach the end zone without being stopped with a clear vision.
  5. The only way to break through the other team’s offensive is with a burst of speed, So, focus on speed.
  6. Break Tackles: Knowing how to break a tackle will boost your chances of reaching the end zone in the event that you encounter opposition.

Decision-making, passing accuracy, relationship with receivers, quickness, and tackling are five essential attributes that assist the QB to avoid giving up a pick six. Let’s investigate them in further detail.

  1. One of the most essential characteristics of a quarterback is the ability to make wise decisions under pressure. Decision making reduces the number of interceptions.
  2. Accuracy in passing reduces turnovers and improves otherwise disastrous plays by getting the ball to the open receiver when they need it.
  3. Interceptions are common when the quarterback and receiver don’t have good chemistry. Reduce the number of pick-sixes you allow by limiting your own interceptions.
  4. Speed and agility – if the quarterback is intercepted, he immediately becomes a defender and must assist bring down the man who stole the ball.
  5. Getting a good tackle in may prevent the ball carrier from running straight over you if you’re fast enough to catch up to the defender.


How many points is a pick six in football?

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

What is the longest pick six in football?

Ed Reed, a safety in the Ravens Hall of Fame, scored an interception for a score 106 yards in 2004, setting a record in the NFL.

Who has thrown the most pick sixes?

With the interception returns for a touchdown, he tied Marino for second all-time in NFL history with his 29th career pick-6. He is presently 31st on the list, three behind the leader Brett Favre.

Who throws the most pick sixes?

Matthew Stafford tied Dan Marino for second all-time with 29 career pick-sixes in the 2022 season. At the moment, Brett Favre is ahead of Stafford by three touchdown passes. Complete the top five with 28, 27, and 27 points are Joe Namath, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees.


What Is A Pick 6 In Football? When a quarterback throws an interception and the receiving team scores a touchdown, the play is known as a “pick-six.” This is a very unusual occurrence in games, but it might have a huge impact. It is not possible for a defensive player who can execute several movements to get a 6 given the stringent standards. This strategy is the key to the team’s win.

Hopefully, this sportda post has provided you with a comprehensive insight of pick 6. Follow our blog to get further intriguing facts.

Abu Bakar
Abu Bakar
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.


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