On Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback William Gay set an NFL record for consecutive interceptions returned for a touchdown when he took his fifth back against the Cincinnati Bengals. On this Throwback Thursday, we’ll take a look back at those five interceptions by Gay.
On Nov. 24, 2013 against the Cleveland Browns, Gay was lined up in the slot a jumped an underneath pass from quarterback Brandon Weeden intended for tight end Jordan Cameron. This was just a cover-2 defense with 3 safeties on the field as Troy Polamalu was in the box as a robber in zone coverage.
Last season against the Indianapolis Colts, Gay jumped a poor comeback route that was run by wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and easily picked off the pass from quarterback Andrew Luck.
A few weeks later, Gay again benefited from not only a sloppy route by Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter, but a poor throw by quarterback Zach Mettenberger as well. Some good film study also played a role in this pick-6 as Alex Kozora pointed out after that game.
In the Week 14 game against the Atlanta Falcons last season, Gay notched his fourth consecutive pick-6 when he intercepted quarterback Matt Ryan. Gay had actually followed wide receiver Harry Douglas to the middle of the field on the play and the Steelers also only played one safety very deep in their base defense.
Gay’s fifth pick-6 came Sunday against the Bengals as he easily stepped in front of a pass from quarterback A.J. McCarron that was intended for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu on a bubble screen as part of a run-pass option play. The Steelers showed one coverage pre-snap before Gay walked down and at that point it became cover-2. Outside pressure from linebacker James Harrison also helped force a poor throw.