A deflection in football is otherwise referred to as a pass defended or pass deflection. This occurs when an offensive player makes a pass and a defensive player slaps or blocks the football when it is in the air or in the exact second when another offensive player is catching the ball.
When a pass deflection happens, the ball ends up on the ground. It does not result in a turnover unless it is the fourth down. It usually results in a down and the ball is returned to the spot where the offensive player threw the ball. Although a pass deflection is a positive action for the defensive player, it is not an action that shows up in the box score. However, coaches and teams may personally keep track of how many deflections the team or a player has.