Does A Touchdown Count As A First Down In Football?
A first down in football is when the offensive team gains 10 yards, resetting the down counter. But what happens if a touchdown is scored on the first down? Does a touchdown count as a first down, since the goal line is the end of the field, or is it considered something else? Read on to learn how a touchdown is counted in NFL statistics!
Is a Touchdown a First Down?
According to the NFL Guide for Statisticians, a touchdown resulting from rushing or forward passes is recorded as a first down, regardless of the distance gained on the play, in addition to being recorded as a touchdown.
There are exceptions to this rule. 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 as well. Likewise, a fumble will also lead a play to be scored as such. Even if the fumbled ball is recovered by the offense and brought in for a touchdown, the play will still count as a fumble.
Does a passing touchdown count as a first down?
Yes, both passing and rushing touchdowns count as first downs. The only touchdowns that do not count as first downs from a statistical perspective are those that are the result of a turnover, that is, a fumble or an interception. One important note is that a passing touchdown must be the result of a forward pass to count as a statistical touchdown.