What is a Pick 6 and Why Is It Called a Pick 6 in Football?

What is a pick 6 in football

A pick is a technique when followed by any teams’ players that can change the entire game. It can become a golden opportunity for the team by taking control of the whole game by just using a Pick six technique or flipping the game as the whole.

What is a Pick 6 in Football?

Pick 6 is a technique to score 6 points in Football, It happens when an interception, or pick, is returned all the way for a touchdown by the opposing team, the team is then awarded six points.

As a result, the defence position will now become the offence position immediately after a turnover, the player who has now caught the interception currently has a high probability to score a touchdown.

What is the importance of Pick Six in a Game?

pick six in football

Pick Six is an effective technique of the entire Football, but through the initialization of the touchdown, pick-six is started. It is like a sharp sword in the opponent’s team heart and impossible to recover the damage in terms of points, as there’s a level three psychology involved in it.

A pick-six contributes more than six points for the team, which gets displayed on the board in the field. 

When the opponent team sets up on the offence to the next drive, they’ll be much more clattered than before. The quarterback will overthink their decisions, which might affect them negatively.
This fear got enacted in the Quarterback position players will be the most beneficial defence can be acquired throughout in the Football game.

This will change the whole scenario of the game and increase the probability of making mistakes by the Quarterback position’s player.
It’s a huge reason why the potential to bounce back after weak gameplay is one of the most demanding characteristics in a quarterback.

Related: What is 7 on 7 in Football

How does pick 6 affect a game?

This technique can totally swap the game lead from one team to another. It can change the entire game tide. That is the effect of pick 6 in a game.

Teams often play the entire game without any of this swapping. The momentum continues to the end from the beginning.

It’s very rare for a pick 6 to occur or execute. The reason behind that is the difficulty for a defender to return all the way to the opposing team’s end zone. In continuation, Interceptions are also rare, they don’t happen often. Even NFL teams often play the whole match without any single interception. In the next step Pick 6 occurs and becomes harder to occur from the end zone.

If the offence is situated far into the defence’s territory, it becomes more distance for a defender to return the interception for a touchdown. Let’s take an example to make it more clear. If the offence is 20 yards far away from the defence’s, the defender would have to return the interception at least 80 yards to complete the process and score a touchdown.

That makes pick 6 one of the most exciting moments in the entire game. And it’s rarely found.

Who Generally Gets a Pick 6?

pick six

Both defense and offense are rewarded by pick 6. Usually, the quarterback will be awarded “pick 6,” and the defender will be awarded “intercept return touchdown.” The two have the same meaning but are used to determine the side of the ball.

The players in the cornerbacks and safeties are the players you’ll see getting pick six more often.

Throughout the 2019 season, the NFL received a total of 36 intercepted passes. Of these 36 people, 27 are from the cornerback. In addition, there are seven from the linebackers and two from the defensive lineman.

To show how rare they are, only three players in the 2019 season have received more than one pick-six, and Marcus Peters leads with an incredible three.

Although there were 45 players throughout the season, there were no more than two players in the 2018 season.

A point might get into your mind why this technique is not considered ‘Pick 7’ since most touchdowns end in 7 points. While that’s not the case, touchdowns are only worth six points, while extra points are worth one additional point.

Since additional focuses don’t co-occur with capture attempts, that is the reason interferences returned for a score are called pick-sixes.

How to Increase the Chance of Getting a Pick 6

If you’re a player from a defensive position, you might have wondered how can I increase the probability of getting a pick 6 in the game, focus and improve these six things: defensive IQ, good hands, blocking from teammates, speed, ability to break tackles, and vision.

Let’s take a closer look at each one:

  1. Hands – You should have a solid hand to secure a good interception.
  2. IO – An excellent Good defensive IQ requires a remarkable gameplay reading ability to succeed in the interception.
  3. Blocking – Once the pass is intercepted, your teammates should be ready to stop the opponent team, even without penalty.
  4. Vision – Ball carried by the player required to entwine through the defensive position and to avoid getting tackled. The main aim is to go to the end line without getting touched.
  5. Speed – Speed is what gives you the separation needed to run through the opposing offense.
  6. Break Tackles – If you are met with too much opposition, learn how to break a tackle and increase the likelihood you make it to the end zone.

What is an Interception and How is it different from Pick 6?

An interception occurs when a player of the defensive team catches the forward pass thrown by the quarterback. The defender who catches the ball can immediately try to move the ball as far as possible to the opposite area.

This leads to an immediate change in possession of the ball during the game.

If the player reaches the final zone without fumbling or flipping the ball, they score a touchdown and earn six points.

Whenever an interception is returned for a touchdown, it’s called a pick-six. Not all interceptions end in a pick-six; each pick-six must begin with an interception. The only difference between the two is a pick-six involves touchdowns.

After the game stops, if the interceptor retains possession of the ball, his team occupies the spot where it fell. Because possession is an essential component in these games, successful blocking can dramatically reverse teams’ fortunes.

Generally, linebackers make interceptions, who are usually closest to the quarterback’s intended targets, wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends.

Why it is called Pick Six in NFL?

What is a pick 6 in football

In our day-to-day life, we use a lot of slang. Also, in Football, there’s a lot of slang that is used. If the question arises into your mind wondering where the pick six-word encountered in the field, you’ll get shocked to know that.

The first half contains pick, which is slang for interception. We usually say the word to say “the cornerback just picked off the quarterback” or “the quarterback just threw a pick with 3 minutes left in the game.”

Let’s talk about the second half. This part represents the point awarded to the team which scores a touchdown after the interception of the ball.

This score awarded is equal to the points awarded for achieving a touchdown, comparable to techniques you use like passing, fumble recovery touchdown, rushing.

It would be best to keep in mind that there are two things for a pick-six to execute in an active Football, interception and touchdown techniques.

Have you ever wondered about where the slang ‘pick six’ was born from? Just think about two methods in your mind: interception, which is considered a pick, and a touchdown that is regarded as 6.

Which NFL Quarterbacks Have Thrown the Most Pick Sixes?

Throughout NFL history, some quarterbacks are more inclined to make such devastating passes than others. The following are the most signal-callers in pick-sixes; statistics that have been kept since 1960.




No. of Pick Six


Brett Favre




Dan Marino




Joe Namath




Peyton Manning




Norm Snead




Vinny Testaverde




Kerry Collins




Steve DeBerg




Carson Palmer




Drew Brees




This part (Pick) refers to picking off the forward pass and part six refers to the number of points implicated in the play. Because a touchdown gives six points to the team who achieves it, that’s why it is called Pick Six.

If the team who intercepted the pass reaches the touchdown, it may create another play called Pick 2 which refers to the extra points that the team can get from the kick play.

The only difference between the two is a pick-six involves touchdowns.

Brett Favre has the Most Pick Sixes in NFL History.

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