A pick 6 is considered an unofficial and casual term that American footballers use frequently during a match. Generally, a pick 6 happens when a player from the defense makes an interruption which is returned for a touchdown. During a match, usually, a cornerback does a pick 6.
In the later sections, we have a detailed discussion on what is a pick 6 in football. Keep reading.
Why Do They Call It a Pick Six?
Now, let us explain a pick 6 in football is an easy word. A pick 6 in football takes place whenever a player from the defense stops or seizes a pass and then passes the ball to the end zone of the opponent players. In this way, the players from the defense score a touchdown. Generally, this touchdown is worth 6 points.
So, why do they call it a pick-six? If you are new to American football, you might not know about a pick 6 or other terms used regularly during the match. So, basically, the word ‘pick 6’ is divided into 2 sections. Obviously, the first part is ‘pick’ and the second one is ‘6’.
Now, the word ‘pick’ is actually slang that is used for interception. This term has its origin in the word ‘picking’. That means picking the ball all of a sudden out of the air. Another indication is stealing the ball from the QB.
Let’s come to the second part. The term 6 indicates the number of points that are rewarded to the defensive players. This happens when the cornerback picks off the quarterback and there are only 3 minutes left to finish the game. It can be passing, kick return, or rushing with a recovery touchdown.
You have to keep in mind that when both an interception and a touchdown take place during a match, only then a pick-6 happen. Here interception indicates a pick and a touchdown means scoring 6 points. If only an interception or a touchdown happens during the match, you can’t consider it a pick-6.
How Does a Pick Six Affect the Game?
When a pick 6 happens, it can change the game entirely. So, how does a pick-six affect the game?
As said earlier, a pick 6 is really a game-changing moment in an American football match. In American football, players have to play both physically and mentally.
No matter whether your team is losing or winning the match if you hit a pick 6, it will be able to change the fate of your team. Not only a pick 6 affects the opponent team physically but also hits them psychologically. Let’s explore how a pick-six can affect an opponent’s team during the match.
So, generally, a touchdown is itself an extremely exciting moment in a football match. However, when a touchdown takes place along with an interception, it will force the opposite team to get in grave danger. You can say that a pick 6 is just like a dagger in the heart of the opposite team.
A pick-six rewards the defensive players with 6 points. It will increase their score in the match and helps them to get in a good position. Apart from this, when a cornerback picks off the quarterback, the QB is affected mentally and this will disrupt his decisions afterward. After all, a QB is one of the most important people who the players from the defense want to obtain in a football match.
So, in short, a pick-six can disturb the players from the offense very much. Especially, it puts the QB at a higher risk and increases his chances to make the other wrong decisions. All these things do nothing but enhance the chance of the players from the opposite team to win the match a lot more than ever.
Read more about forechecking in hockey
Who Generally Gets a Pick 6?
Now that you are aware of a pick 6 in American football, you should know about the person who can score a pick 6. So, who generally gets a pick 6 in a football match?
Generally, any player from the defense team can get a pick 6. On the other hand, players from both the offense and the defense team can earn pick 6 as a reward. An interception return touchdown is awarded to the defensive player.
If you are a player from the defense, then you should know that some players from your side can have so much more opportunity to earn a pick 6 than the other. Therefore, you will witness that the cornerbacks and safeties win a pick 6 most of the time during a match.
For example, in the NFL, we witnessed that a total of 36 pick-6 rewards were earned in the season of 2019. As we have talked about the safeties and the cornerbacks, here happened that too. 27 cornerbacks and safeties earned this reward in that season.
How to Increase the Chance of Getting a Pick 6
Pick 6 is so exciting in a football match that anyone will be eager to know how to increase the chance of getting a pick 6 to win. Especially a defensive player must know the tricks to earn pick 6 in a match.
Here are a few things that help you to get a pick 6 is a match, in case you are from the defense.
- IQ: Players from the defense have to have a very good IQ to understand the nature of the play and thus they have to put themselves in a position so that they can make an interception.
- Hands: In order to secure an interception properly, you need to have really strong hands. Otherwise, there are chances when you fail to achieve your goal.
- Vision: The defensive players have to have a really good vision as well to reach the end zone of the opponent’s team while remaining untouched. So, they have to weave via defense.
- Speed: Speed is another important thing that increases the chances of getting a pick 6 during a match. You need a good speed to run through the opposite players.
- Blocking: Once the interception is done, the teammates should be ready for blocking the opponent players without penalty.
- Break Tackles: It is another quality that you need to reach the end zone.
If you are a QB and from the offense, then you need to remember these things to avoid a pick 6:
- Accuracy: You need to pass the ball accurately to your teammates to ignore a pick 6.
- Speed: If you are a QB, then your speed should be more than the defensive players, and speed will help you to stop the person who has made the interception.
- Handling: You should be well-aware to handle the defenders and stop them to earn a pick 6. Otherwise, no one can help you to get a pick 6 in the match.
- Decision-Making Ability: When a QB holds a quick, yet good decision-making ability, it will help him to decrease the chance of a pick 6.
What Is the Basic Difference Between an Interception & Pick 6?
One might think that an interception or pick and a pick 6 are the same, but the true fact is that there is a huge difference between an interception & pick 6.
So, the basic difference between a pick 6 and an interception is in their meanings. An interception is when a player from the defense catches the forward ball that the QB throws. An interception is one of the popular ways to make a turnover in the match forcefully. On the other hand, a pick 6 takes place when both an interception and a touchdown happen at the same time during a match.
So, there are two things that are required for a pick 6 to happen. First, an interception, and second a touchdown. After making an interception, the player from the defense gets a chance to make a touchdown by running it back. If the offensive player handles him and stops the touchdown to happen, his team gets over the possession. Also, they are awarded a set of fresh downs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Why do they call it a Pick 6 in football?
The word ‘pick 6’ is divided into two sections. Here, the first part is ‘pick’ and the second one is ‘6’. The word ‘pick’ is actually slang that is used for interception. This term has its origin in the word ‘picking’. That means picking the ball all of a sudden out of the air. The term 6 indicates the number of points that are rewarded to the defensive players. This happens when the cornerback picks off the quarterback and there are only 3 minutes left to finish the game. It can be passing, kick return, or rushing with a recovery touchdown.
2. What does pick-six mean?
A pick 6 indicates the moment when the player from the defense is able to make an interception by catching the forward pass, done by a QB, and then make a touchdown after that. here the interception is called a pick. The number 6 denotes the number of points that will be awarded to the defense team.
3. What’s the difference between a pick and a pick 6?
The basic difference between a pick 6 and a pick is in their meanings. A pick, generally called an interception happens when a player from the defense catches the forward ball that the QB throws. A pick or an interception is one of the popular ways to make a turnover in the match forcefully. On the other hand, a pick 6 takes place when both an interception and a touchdown happen at the same time during a match.
4. How does the NFL Pick 6 work?
In the NFL football match, a pick 6 only works when a touchdown happens after an interception takes place. This has to be done by a player from the defense. Without a touchdown, it is only considered a pick, not a pick 6. When a pick 6 happens, 6 points will be rewarded to the defense team.