Interceptions are one the more exciting things in pro football, especially when the ball is picked off in the end zone and returned all the way down the field for a touchdown. These interception returns of 100 or more yards stand out because athletically they are often stunning to watch, in terms of morale it is a totally demoralizing play, and when it comes to game impact it amounts to essentially a 14 point play as the team that threw the interceptions loses the 7 points they were about to score, and the team intercepting and returning the ball for a touchdown gains 7 points.
Here are a few facts about 100+ yard interception returns:
-The first interception return of 100 or more yards was made by Bob Smith of the Detroit Lions in 1949.
-The longest interception return ever was 106 yards, Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens did this in 2004.
-1961 and 1962 was the first time that the longest interception return of the year had been over 100 yards in back-to-back seasons. 1961 saw Eric Barnes return one 102 yards for the New York Giants and 1962 would see future Washington Redskins coach Richie Petitbon return one 101 yards for the Chicago Bears.
-Between 1940 and 1975, only six times would the longest interception return of the year be over 100 yards in length. From 1975 through 2008, there have been 14 different seasons in which the longest interception return of the year was over 100 yards.