Football Q: interception on extra point

My roommate and I were having a discussion while watching football today, and have a question. Figured I would post it here since it is about a sport.

What would happen if after scoring a touchdown, during the extra point attempt, if the defense were to intercept the ball?

They could run it back for 2 points (like a safety) in college and it’s blown dead in the NFL.


I actually saw this happen when Lou Holtz brought Notre Dame here to Austin a decade ago. On a missed extra point, Notre Dame ran the ball back 100 yards, and got 2 points out of it.

In the NFL, a blocked extra point is just a blocked extra point- you don’t get any points for returning the blocked extra point all the way, though you would if you returned a blocked field goal all the way.

This just happened today in the Texas Tech/Texas A & M game today.

It’s technically possible for a college team to score one point in a game. This is because a safety on an extra point attempt is worth 1 point.

Say Team A scores a touchdown and goes for an extra point. The attempt is blocked/intercepted, and Team B runs it back ALMOST all the way to the other goal line. Team B fumbles the ball around the 3 yard line. A player on Team A picks the ball up, but decides to get fancy and backtracks into the end zone in an attempt to find a running lane. He gets tackled in the end zone. Team B scores 1 point.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened.

According to Wikipedia, this has never happened.

I didn’t even know that was possible. Thanks.

It could also happen if an extra point attempt was blocked out the back of the (other) endzone. Obviously, that’s almost phsically impossible, unless the kicking team had at least three personal fouls assessed against it between scoring and attempting the extra point…

…and there’s a gale blowing in that direction. I think the NFL should implement the college rule, frankly.

That too.

I don’t think it matters that much. I can’t find an actual statistic, but I’m willing to bet there are fewer than 3-4 conversions which could be returned for TDs per year.

This is true and I saw it just recently, but that seems premature to me. What if the interceptor fumbled the ball and it was picked up by the kicking team and run to the endzone? Would that not be 2 points scored for the kicking team? It seems to me that the officials should wait for the play to conclude before blowing it dead. Of course, the defending team should immediately go down or out of bounds rather than try to run it back.

If it’s a dead ball, it’s a dead ball. There’s no opportunity for the intecepting team to advance the ball; if you let the play continue, you’re effectively penalizing the team that makes the pick, since nothing good can happen for them and nothing bad can happen for the other team.

I’d always maintained 4 to 4 was the most improbable score possible in a game. Perhaps I spoke too soon.

They have no choice. By rule, the ball on an NFL extra point is dead when the defense gains possession, or after a kick is unsuccessful. Note the ramifications on a blocked kick–the kicking team can’t recover it and run it across the line, as they can in college.

So, would that make 4-1 the Most Unlikely Football Score Ever?

Nah. 1,000,000 to 1,000,001 is less likely. :smiley:

No, that would be the most impossible score ever. You can’t get 1 point on a safety unless the other team has scored a TD and is going for the extra point.

4-1 is not unlikely, it’s impossible. The only way for a safety to be scored on an extra point attempt (or a 2 point conversion) is for a team to have scored a touchdown. Thus, 6-1 would be the Most Unlikely Football Score Ever.

Of course the 3-2 Auburn v Mississippi State score would have to have an honorable mention in there somewhere.

if it’s not a hijack…may I ask a question about extra points:
Why the hell do they exist?

In any sport, scoring (whether counted in points,runs,laps,goals,etc) is supposed to be fun and exciting-- not a boring afterthought.
The point-after-touchdown is just dumb.

It’s a carryover from rugby, whence came the great sport of (American) football. In modern rugby, though, the conversion attempt (which is worth two points) must be taken level with where the try was scored, meaning you may have to kick it from the sideline - so they aren’t as automatic.