Friday, May 5, 2017

Hypothetical: The Intentional Pick-Six


Hear me out. I think I've come up with a situation where a team should intentionally throw a pick-six.

Team Red and Team Blue are playing. It is the 4th quarter and Red is down by 1 point with 1:30 to play. They receive the kickoff and start at their 25 needing a field goal to win.

But disaster strikes. The QB is sacked twice for huge losses, the tackle is called for holding, and they are moved all the way back to their own 1. Its 4th and 25 with 1:15 left and if they turnover on downs, Team Blue will run out the clock and win. Team Red must convert the 4th and 25.

Maybe not though. Red calls an unconventional play: a pick-six. The QB drops back to pass, deep in his own end zone. But instead of passing, he holds onto the ball until a pass rusher gets close enough, about to sack the QB. Suddenly the QB flips the ball to the pass rusher. Completely shocked and operating off instinct, the pass rusher catches the ball. Already in the end zone (they started at the 1), it's an automatic pick-six.

Now Blue kicks the extra point to make it an 8pt game. But now they have to kick off back to Red immediately. So now instead of a do-or-die 4th and 25 at the 1, Red starts afresh with a new set of downs at their 25 with 1:15.

Even though the deficit went from 1 to 8, your odds have almost certainly gotten better. Would you rather have your team need to score a touchdown and 2-pt conversion from your 25 with 1:15 to go? Or have your team faced with a 4th and 25 from your 1 yard line, needing to get a field goal?

Faced with that situation, you should call the intentional pick six flip to the linebacker and start over and go for the touchdown to tie.



Submitted May 05, 2017 at 12:37PM by volken330
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