American Football Rules: What happens when a pass is intercepted in the end zone?
I watch football occasionally, and I thought I knew the rules well enough. But I saw two things in yesterdays Browns vs. Ravens game that got me puzzled. One was a pass intercepted by defense and caught in the end zone, but the defensive player never made it out of the end zone. Is this a turnover of control. If so, where does the team that gains control have the ball - at the previous line of scrimmage? At the 20-yard line?
If a ball is intercepted in the end-zone, it can either be ran out or the player can stay in the end-zone. If the player chooses to stay in, it is a touchback and the ball is placed at the 20 yard line. Same idea when the ball is being kicked off at the beginning, after a touchdown or field goal, and at half. It is the players choice to leave or stay.
If the player making the interception never makes it out of the end zone, the referee calls a touchback and the ball comes out to the 20 yard line. If the ref is a replacement he calls for a do over.
If a defender catches a pass in the endzone and the play stops there it is a touchback and the ball goes out to the 20. It would be pretty unfair to punish the defender in anyway, like awarding 2pts if the QB is sacked in his own end zone. The play is simply dead unless he is able to run it out. In the browns v ravens game it was dead due to the bundle of players, but even if that had been slightly different running out with it would have been dangerous in case the defender gets brought down and fumbles, giving the possession right back!
If the defender kneels down or is tackled in the endzone, the play is a touchback. The defender's team gets the ball at their own 20 yard line.
I'm late to the party, so I'll just mention an obscure football rule: apparently, if an extra point after a touchdown is blocked, and then recovered by the blocking team outside of the endzone, and then the ballcarrier runs back into the endzone and is tackled, then the kicking team is awarded a one-point safety.
Since it wasn't televised I watched highlights. You left out that the defender caught it outside of the endzone and fell into the endzone. Right? or did the interception actually occur and control established once he had already fallen into the endzone? I think it was a safety and they must punt back to cleveland. Then again, the taunting should have never been.
Like others have said if the defender catches the ball in the endzone the and is either tackled or kneels, play is automatically stopped and ball goes out to the 20 yard line. With that being said now if the player decides to run and makes it out of the endzone and tried to run back into the endzone then at that point it would be a touch back giving two points to the other team along with the ball.
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