Football Turnover

football turnovers

What Is a Turnover in Football?

A turnover in football is when teams switch possession of the ball. Turnovers in football happen when there is a fumble, interception, or turnover on downs.

What Happens After a Turnover?

The line of scrimmage shows the spot of the ball on the football field. When a turnover happens, a new line of scrimmage and first down line will be marked on the field by the chain crew wherever the ball is declared dead. The team which has gained possession starts an offensive drive at the new line of scrimmage.

Who Is on Offense in a Turnover?

Football Offense

When a team gets the ball, they are on offense. Whichever team is in possession of the ball is the team that’s considered to be on offense. When turnovers occur, they always shift possession from the offense to the defense, because the offense is in possession of the ball.


A fumble happens when the ball carrier drops the ball and it is subsequently recovered by a player on the opposing team. When the ball carrier drops the ball, it becomes a loose ball and can be recovered by any player. Fumbles must occur when the ball carrier is not down by contact. If a player’s knee or full body is down and the ball pops loose, it is not considered a fumble. Additionally, if the ball is never controlled by a receiver during a passing play, and drops to the ground after a catch attempt, it is a dead ball and an incomplete pass, not a fumble.

When a defensive player strips the ball from the ball carrier, they force a fumble. Stripping the ball requires a defensive player to use their hands to hit the ball out of the ball carrier's grip. This can be done through a hooking motion, by punching the ball out, or by any other legal tackling maneuver. The ball carrier can prevent the ball from being stripped by tucking it deep in the armpit of the dominant arm. The ball carrier should use their less dominant arm as their stiff arm to block any attempts made to strip the ball.


An interception happens when a defensive player catches a pass made by the offense. Interceptions require the defensive player to stay in bounds, not let the ball touch the ground, and maintain control of the ball. Defenders must make sure that they don’t interfere with the eligible receiver they are covering when making an interception, as this will result in a costly penalty.

Turnover on Downs

Football Turnover on Downs

A turnover on downs in football happens when the offense does not reach the first down line in four downs. The opposing team takes possession of the ball at the spot it was declared dead at the end of fourth down. To avoid this, most teams will decide to punt on fourth down in order to give the opponent a less favorable field position. However, if a team chooses to run an offensive play on fourth down, they risk a turnover on downs if they don’t successfully reach the first down line. In the NFL, turnovers on downs are not counted toward a team’s turnover statistics.


What is the meaning of turnover in football?

In football, turnover means giving the ball to the other team. Turnovers can happen as a result of fumbles or interceptions. A turnover on downs can also happen if an offense fails to reach the line to gain after four downs. Possession is important for scoring and winning, so every turnover is costly for an offense, especially if it awards a favorable field position to the opposing team.

What are turnover worthy plays?

“Turnover worthy plays” is a stat that records a quarterback’s plays that could have resulted in a turnover. These plays include interceptions, interceptable throws, and fumbles in the pocket. This statistic is used, along with the more popular interceptions stat, to evaluate a quarterback’s likelihood of throwing interceptions and otherwise causing turnovers. The turnover worthy plays stat is useful for fantasy matchups and making prop bets.

Is a turnover good in football?

Turnovers can be both good and bad in football depending on which team you support! If your team is on defense, a turnover will naturally be exciting for you and your fellow fans, as your team is getting the ball and another opportunity to score. However, if your team is on offense, a turnover will almost always be a source of disappointment, as it will lead to your team losing the ball.