In order to help clarify how official scorers determine a pass defended I sent a contact I have with the NFL the following question:
Can you tell me what the definition or criteria that official scorers use to designate a "pass defended".
I figured some might be interested in his response, which is below:
This is the definition given to the clubs in the League’s PR Manual, I don’t know how many stat crews would have seen it.
PASSES DEFENSED — If a pass falls incomplete because of the defensive efforts of one player, that player should be credited with a pass defensed. This may come about in two principal ways. (1) A defensive player who makes contact with the football, thus preventing the intended receiver from making the catch, should be credited with a pass defensed. (2) A defensive player who tackles the intended receiver simultaneously with the arrival of the football, thus preventing the reception, should also be credited with a pass defensed.
A defensive player who neither touches the football nor tackles the receiver simultaneously with the arrival of the football ordinarily should not be credited with a pass defensed. No pass defensed credit should be given on plays on which the ball is overthrown or thrown out-of-bounds.
NOTE: In rare instances, it may be possible for two defensive players to play such equal roles in the defensing of a forward pass that it is not possible to determine which player was more responsible. In such a rare instance, credit both players with a pass defensed.
NOTE: The defensive team’s total of passes defensed must not exceed the total number of incomplete passes by the offensive team unless the rare circumstance cited in the above paragraph has occurred during the course of the game. Even then, in most instances, the defensive team’s total of passes defensed will not equal the total number of incomplete passes by the offensive team.
PLEASE NOTE: When a first defensive player defends against a pass in such a manner that he normally would be credited with a pass defensed and a second defensive player intercepts the pass, the first defensive player still should be credited with a pass defensed while the second player is credited with an interception and a pass defensed. The theory of this guideline is that the first defensive player should not be penalized because of the ensuing interception when, in fact, the first defensive player’s action may have played a major role in making the interception possible.
Edited by keggerz, 08 November 2011 - 03:37 PM.