Any time a defensive player makes contact with a forward pass that causes an incompletion. A pass can be batted down by any defensive player, but the defender cannot make contact with the receiver before the ball is touched. The most common kinds of batted passes are when a defensive back tips a ball away from a receiver, and when a defensive lineman deflects a ball during a pass rush.
Also referred to as "Passes Defensed".
Passes Batted Down is one of the primary statistics used to evaluate a defensive player's effectiveness in pass coverage. A pass is more likely to be batted down by a defensive back doing a good job guarding their receiver. Ideally, the defensive player would like to intercept the ball, but a batted ball is always preferable to a completion by the offense. While defensive backs are more likely to bat the ball, pass rushers are taught to get their hands up into the passing lanes if they cannot reach the quarterback to make it more difficult for him to get the pass attempt away. Batted balls by the defensive line often result in incomple passes. Once the ball is batted, pass interference is not valid for the duration of the play.