The acronym PD in football stats stands for passes defended. A pass defended in football is a forward pass that is ruled incomplete due to the defender contacting the football.
Passes defended is a great statistic often used to measure defensive backs. Players that spend the majority of their time in pass coverage tend to excel in this statistic.
These top players may have a low PD total due to the small number of passes that come their way.
It is best to look at the passes defended stat along with the receiving yards they gave up to determine a defensive backs quality. The same can be said about interceptions.
Which positions tend to get the most PD in football?
Now that you know PD stands for passes defended or passes defensed you may be wondering which position leads in this statistic.
Cornerback is often going to the position leading the PD category. These players specialize in pass coverage.
Cornerbacks are often matched up one on one against wide receivers. This close proximity to these players means the ball is often going to come their way.
When a pass is going to their receiver the cornerback is going to attempt to break it up. Oftentimes these players are successful which means they will be awarded with a pass defended.
Another position that often earns themselves some passes defensed is the safeties. There are two safety positions in a defense the strong safety and the free safety.
Both these safeties play man and zone coverage when the opposing team is passing. In man coverage, the safeties will often cover tight ends and running backs.
These players are rarely double-covered meaning the safety will often have to be the one to break up the pass.
In zone coverage, the safeties are going to wait deep into their defensive backfield. These players will help out cornerbacks when their receivers run a deep route.
Being deep into the defensive backfield gives the safeties a chance to jump these deep routes and often break up the pass.
The fact that these receivers will be in double coverage means there is a fairly high likely hood the pass is going to be broken up.
One more position that you may not expect to get a PD in football is the defensive line. These players line up on the line of scrimmage and have the main purpose of stopping the run and tackling the quarterback.
That being said these players are also quite skilled at batting balls out of the air. If a defensive lineman realizes he is not going to tackle the quarterback the next best option is to stop his pass.
To do this the defensive lineman will have their eyes watching the quarterback throughout the play. Once the quarterback begins his throwing motion the defensive lineman will jump up with his arms raised into the air.
Oftentimes the ball will fly directly into the lineman’s arms and fall to the ground. Despite the ball only travelling a few yards, this play will be counted as a pass defended by the defensive lineman.
Along with passes defensed you will notice that defensive linemen are also likely to rank highly in the ff statistic which stands for forced fumbles.