Steelers cornerback William Gay intercepted a Matt Ryan pass in Atlanta on Sunday and ran it back 52 yards for a touchdown, putting him within reach of an NFL record.
That interception return for a touchdown was Gay’s third of the season. The all-time single-season record is four, a record shared by Ken Houston of the 1971 Oilers, Jim Kearney of the 1972 Chiefs and Eric Allen of the 1993 Eagles.
Gay’s three touchdowns came on his only three interceptions of the season. He previously had a pick-six against the Colts in Week Eight and a pick-six against the Titans in Week 11.
Whether Gay breaks the record or not will be as much about luck as anything else: A pick-six is a great play, but it’s a play that’s dependent on so many variables beyond the player’s control that there’s no way to predict when it will happen. But Gay has gotten himself within striking distance of having his name added to the NFL record book.