Does A Touchdown Count As A First Down In Football?

football Touchdowns

First Down Definition

Football 1st Down Line

A first down in football is when the offensive team gains 10 yards, resetting the down counter. The 10 yards required for the first down are marked by yard markers held by officials, sometimes called the marker or the chains. A first down can only be obtained from a play beginning at the line of scrimmage, where the ball is placed. A first down can also occur after a penalty which may reset the down counter or give the offensive teams more than the 10 yards required for the first down. But what happens if the touchdown is scored on the first down?

Does a Touchdown Equate to a First Down?

According to the NFL Guide for Statisticians, a touchdown is recorded as a first down, regardless of the distance gained on the play, in addition to being recorded as a touchdown.


One exception to this rule is if the defense gained possession of the ball through an interception and scored a touchdown. That would be considered an interception and recorded as a touchdown, too.