The Basics : Scoring

football, basics, scoring, pier

Today’s Basics post is all scoring, which is kind of the whole point of the game. So it’s a special week here! Let’s get movin’!

Things the Offense Wants to Happen:

Touchdown = 6 points! WOOT!

A touchdown is scored when the FOOTBALL (not the player) crosses the goal line into the end zone. However, the player must maintain control of the football while in the boundaries of the end zone in order for it to count as a touchdown (this is where instant replay and endless dissection of where exactly the ball is located comes into play).

Extra Point (aka Point After Touchdown or PAT) = 1 point

Which is why touchdowns are commonly thought to be worth 7 points. Not true! The extra point is kicked after a touchdown is made. It’s kicked from really close (the 2 yard line) so it almost always goes through.

Two-Point Conversion = 2 points

(Bet you could have figured that one out on your own.)

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If a team could greatly benefit from scoring 2 points instead of the standard 1 after scoring a touchdown, they’ll line up like they would if it were running a regular play and try to run or pass the ball into the end zone for a two point conversion.

Things the Offense does NOT want to Happen:

Safety = 2 points

(Not to be confused with Safeties, who are Defensive players.)

This is when an Offensive player is tackled in his OWN end zone. The two points are then awarded to the other team. It usually happens when the Offense gets stuck way far back in their own territory after penalties or a really, really good kickoff.


There are three ways that the Offense can “turn the ball over” to the Defense, which results in the Defense gaining possession of the football.

Fumbles: This is when the player who is carrying the ball either drops it or has it ripped away from him. Whoever recovers the ball gains possession of the ball and, consequently, a new Offensive possession.

Interceptions: This is when the ball is thrown and someone on the Defense catches it. Safeties and Cornerbacks are good at this.

Failed 4th Down Conversions: This is when the team goes for it on 4th down and doesn’t get the yardage needed to reach 10 yards for a new set of downs. For example: a team goes for it on 4th and 2 and only gains 1 yard. Since they did not earn a new set of downs, the other team gets the ball at it’s current spot on the field.