What is a PBU in Football?

what is a pbu in football

Just as is applicable in other sports, the concept of passes, and interceptions also works in the game of football. There are situations where the passes that are thrown can be knocked down without being intercepted and that is where the concept of pass break up or PBU in football comes into play.

The abbreviation for “Pass Break Up” that is used in football is “PBU” and it is when a defensive player deflects or knocks down a pass but does not intercept it. Any contact on the ball that results in an incompletion is referred to as PBU.

READ: What are Alligator Arms in Football?

The Football Positions That Have the Most PBUs

One of the most impressive plays that you can make on defense is to intercept the opposing team’s pass. Find some of the football positions where the highest number of pass breakups can be achieved below.

Linebacker 

Linebackers are another position that can intercept passes intended for quarterbacks. Linebackers frequently take on the role of playing underneath coverage, which means they are responsible for protecting the area immediately adjacent to the line of scrimmage. 

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It is common practice for quarterbacks to throw passes over the heads of linebackers to receivers who are located further down the field. In these kinds of situations, linebackers will raise their hands to get into the passing lane and make a tackle. 

Therefore, a considerable number of balls are hit by a batter throughout an entire season. These players also participate in one-on-one coverage and have the ability to intercept passes in this manner on occasion. 

READ: How Long is an NFL Game?

Cornerbacks 

The cornerback position is by far the one that results in the most pass breakups throughout a season. Given that these players are typically the ones who are closest to the receivers on each play, it makes perfect sense that this would be the case. For instance, Darius Slay of the Detroit Lions led the NFL in combined interceptions and pass breakups in 2017. 

Safety 

The position of safety is the one that offers the next best chance for a player to accumulate some PBUs. The protection of the defensive backfield against deep passes is typically the responsibility of the safeties in a football team.

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When these passes are made in their direction, they frequently block or deflect the ball so that it does not go to the receiver. Any kind of contact made while passing the ball counts as a pass break even if the ball is not caught. 

Defensive Tackles

In football, many people do not anticipate that defensive tackles will be able to swat passes. Since these players rarely participate in pass coverage, the majority of fans are unaware of how frequently these players intercept passes. 

When a defensive tackle realizes that he is not going to be able to get to the quarterback during a pass rush, he begins to study the quarterback’s eyes to prepare for the next play. 

When the tackle realizes that the quarterback is about to throw the ball, he immediately launches himself into the air while simultaneously raising both of his hands. 

By looking into the quarterback’s eyes, these defensive linemen are usually able to determine the direction in which he will throw the ball. 

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This results in a significant number of balls being put out of play at the line of scrimmage. These balls are occasionally hit directly upward and then caught for an interception in the process. 

READ: How many players are on a football team?

Can PBUs Be Used To Access The Quality Of Cornerbacks?

The answer to this question is NO. Although PBUs are helpful statistics, they aren’t the best way to evaluate the quality of your defensive backs. Let’s consider tackles in a football game.

It is not uncommon for corners and safeties to have a lot of tackles to their names. This is not always a warning sign, but the majority of the time, it is because of poor defensive play. 

The responsibility of making the tackle falls on the defensive backs if neither the defensive line nor the linebackers can do so. 

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When conducting statistical research, all relevant aspects must be taken into account at all times. This is especially true for defensive players, who are only chosen based on how well the offense does, so this statement is completely accurate.

Can a dropped interception count as a pass breakup?

This is another question that occasionally arises from fans of the game and the answer is YES. A pass breakup occurs when an interception is dropped by the defensive player. 

Regardless, the fact that these plays fulfill all the requirements for a pass breakup does not change the fact that they are frustrating for fans to watch. 

Meanwhile, a defender should try to make an interception whenever the ball comes their way although there are some situations in which it would be more advantageous for a defensive player to swat the ball down rather than try to intercept it. 

READ: What is a DB in Football?

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Summary

PBU means pass break up in American Football and the content of this article has thrown more light on what the concept entails, especially for fans of the game and newbies that are yet to come to terms with many football terms.

 

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