Is An Interception In The End Zone A Safety?
An interception in the end zone can be demoralizing for an offense and incredibly uplifting for a defense. It’s a sudden change in momentum, as an offense is usually about to score but is denied any points. Read below to find out the rules behind an interception in the end zone.
Is an End Zone Interception a Safety?
An interception in the end zone isn’t a safety for either team. A safety is when the defense tackles the offensive ball carrier in their own end zone. This gives the defensive team two points and possession of the ball via a safety kickoff. The only way an interception could turn into a safety is if the defender runs the ball out of the end zone, then gets tackled back into it. However, this is an incredibly unlikely scenario, as most passes picked in the end zone result in touchbacks. A touchback is when a team goes down in their own end zone and then receives the ball at the 20-yard line.
Is an End Zone Interception a Touchdown?
If a player picks off a pass in the end zone, it’s not immediately ruled a touchdown. However, it’s possible that an end zone interception can result in a touchdown if the defender manages to run the ball back all the way to the opposing end zone. This action is known as a “pick six.” The longest run back in interception history was set by Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed in 2008. In a matchup against the Eagles, the Ravens’ defensive back intercepted Philadelphia quarterback Kevin Kolb in the end zone and ran the ball back 108 yards. Another way an interception in the end zone can become a touchdown is if the defender proceeds to fumble the ball and the offense picks it up in the end zone.
What Happens if a Penalty Occurs on an End Zone Interception?
Three things can occur if a penalty is committed in the end zone during an interception. Firstly, a safety is scored if only the defending team commits the penalty. If the flag is on only the offense, then the outcome of the play stands. In this case, the end zone pick remains valid. If both teams commit a penalty during the action, then they offset, and the play is re-done. That means the interception in the end zone is overturned.