A 1-Point Safety Has Never Happened In the NFL - But It Will Eventually

Published on November 9th, 2019 2:49 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

A rare endzone play in American Football - The 1-point-tackle. The 1-point safety - a play so rare that it has only happened a couple of times in college football and NEVER in the NFL.

In 2015, the NFL changed its conversion attempt rule to make a 1-point safety more likely. The rule is now similar to the college football conversion attempt rule, which has produced a couple of 1-point safeties. Notable examples of a 1-point safety in college football include the 2013 Fiesta Bowl (Kansas City vs Oregon) and a game between Texas and Texas A&M about a decade prior to that.

The 1-point safety does exist, and here is how it works.

Let's say that the San Francisco 49ers score a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers line up to kick the extra point.

The extra point is blocked by the Cowboys. A defensive player picks up the ball and backtracks into the endzone, attempting to find some room to run.

While in the endzone, the Cowboys' player is tackled.

This play will result in a 1-point safety.

Note: This rule also applies to 2-point conversion attempts as well.

Here is a look at the Fiesta Bowl 1-point safety if you want to understand how this would work:

And here is the 1-point safety in the Texas/Texas A&M game:


The offensive team could also give up a 1-point safety as well, though this would be EXTREMELY unlikely. The extra point attempt or 2-point conversion would have to be foiled, and the offensive team would have to somehow get tackled in their OWN endzone nearly 100 yards away.


Prior to 2015, the NFL's extra point rule made it virtually impossible for a 1-point safety to take place, as the play was immediately blown dead if the defense collected the ball during an unsuccessful conversion attempt. The only way a 1-point safety would have been possible is if the defensive team batted the ball into the endzone.

With the league's change to its extra point and 2-point conversion rule, both the offence and defence could conceivably give up 1-point safeties on a conversion attempt.


This has NEVER happened in the history of the NFL, though it will happen eventually, especially with the latest changes to the rules.

Here is what the Rule (Rule 11, Section 3, Article 2 (c) says:

"If the try results in what would ordinarily be a safety against either team, one point is awarded to the opponent."

If somebody ever asks you if a 6-1 score is possible in the NFL, you can point them to this rule and say - yes, yes it is.

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