I know there are 2 teams in football the defense and offense. I'm just thinking it would be really hard to defend after your team gets intercepted because the people on the field don't really play defense often and they are probably not that good at it. Is that true?

  • What do you mean by defend against? Most people who interpret get tackled pretty quickly.
    – Joe W
    May 6 at 13:16

3 Answers 3


Yes but no - as an exact corrolary to your observation, the intercepting team don't really play offense often and they are probably not that good at it, so to first order it all balances out.


There are couple of reasons why defending after giving up an interception is hard:

  1. Offense Players rarely train tackling, they only do so when they prepare for exactly this Situation.
  2. On Offense most players are running a Route or have a defense player assigned to block. Therefore they are usually minding their own business and have to realize the ball is lost first.
  3. Some offense players are behind the ball when its intercepted, because they are running a deep route for example. Therefore they have to run after the intercepting player.
  4. Some offense players specially the QB are not expected to tackle in this situations because they are mandated to protect themselves from injuries. So the offense players that gave up the interception are often outnumbered in such a situation.
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    May 2 at 8:53
  • what is unclear about this? May 15 at 11:18

The team with the ball prior to the interception are in an offensive stance / formation, as they are expecting to be attacking. As such they are all out of position to defend an attack.

So when the interception is made, it's very difficult to move into a defensive formation in the short space of time it takes for the player who made the interception to get away.

But why doesn't the defending team (before the interception) have the same handicap given they will not be in an attacking position? Well it's because at this point, the positioning is just chaos - after an interception they don't usually play a structured attack, the intercepting player just runs as far and as fast as he can while trying to avoid sporadic defenders. So the advantage is with him if the opposition are not prepared to defend.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.