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August 2000

August 2000


Sudden Impact

Returning interceptions for touchdowns: The key to locking up victories in football
by: TJ Troup
© August 2000

All coaches preach turnovers as a deciding factor in victory. What impact does the interception return really have on the outcome of a game? From 1946-99, there have been 25,001 interceptions in AFL/NFL history, with 16,409 (65.63 percent of those) accounting for victories. The percentage of victory by interceptions during this 54-year span has never been lower than 57.67 percent (1962 season), and never higher than 69.92 percent (1977).

Thus, year after year, there is little fluctuation and as a result, almost two-thirds of all interceptions occur in victory. During each era there have been players who intercepted in victories, and when they did not intercept a pass, their team lost. The Detroit Lions returned to the championship game in 1952 after a 17-year hiatus. Three consecutive years, Detroit advanced to the championship ....The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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