99-yard pass play

A 99-yard pass play is the longest play involving a forward pass that is possible in an American football game. It gains 99 yards and scores a touchdown for the offensive team.


A 99-yard pass play starts with the line of scrimmage at the offensive team's one-yard line. The quarterback receives the ball, passes it from his own end zone, and completes a forward pass, which is then carried for a touchdown at the other end of the field. Since in American football a forward pass is measured by the number of yards gained in the play, a 99-yard pass play can also be referred to as a 99-yard pass, even though the actual pass was much shorter than 99 yards. In addition to 99-yard pass plays, there have been two NFL 99-yard running plays, one by Derrick Henry and one by Tony Dorsett.

This play is a high-risk play, since the pass is coming from the offensive team's end zone. If the ball is intercepted, the opposing team will likely either score a touchdown or have very good field position, and a sack can result in a safety or even a touchdown for the defense. A safety can also occur if a holding or intentional grounding penalty occurs in the end zone.

Occurrences in the NFL

Thirteen 99-yard pass plays have occurred in the history of the National Football League:

From To Team Opponent Game result Date Details
Frank Filchock Andy Farkas Washington Redskins v. Pittsburgh Pirates W 44–14 October 15, 1939 "Filchock flipped a pass from the end zone to Farkas, who gathered it on the ten for a stirring 90 yard jaunt to the goal behind perfect blocking by his mates."[1]
George Izo Bobby Mitchell Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns L 37–14 September 15, 1963[2] "Izo had faded into the end zone and fired high and long. Mitchell ... caught the ball around midfield and scampered untouched for a touchdown."[3]
Karl Sweetan Pat Studstill Detroit Lions at Baltimore Colts L 45–14 October 16, 1966 "Studstill ... gathered in the pass at the Lion 45 on a dead run and raced on to pay dirt."[4]
Sonny Jurgensen Jerry Allen Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears W 38–28 September 15, 1968 Allen caught the ball at the Washington 35 and ran the remaining 65 yards[2][5]
Jim Plunkett Cliff Branch Los Angeles Raiders at Washington Redskins L 37–35 October 2, 1983 Branch caught the ball at the Raiders' 35 and ran the remaining 64 yards for the score.[6]
Ron Jaworski Mike Quick Philadelphia Eagles v. Atlanta Falcons W 23–17 (OT) November 10, 1985 "Jaworski hit Quick ...at about the 20. Quick ran the 80 yards for the score."[7]
Stan Humphries Tony Martin San Diego Chargers at Seattle Seahawks W 24–10 September 18, 1994 Martin caught the ball at the 35, and with Patrick Hunter pursuing him, ran the remaining 65 yards to score.[8]
Brett Favre Robert Brooks Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears W 27–24 September 11, 1995 On Monday Night, Favre pump-faked a quick post pattern to Robert Brooks, who then ran an up-route that left Donnell Woolford in the dust. Brooks caught the ball at the Green Bay 32 and ran the remaining 68 yards untouched for the TD to put the Packers up 21–0 in the second quarter.
Trent Green Marc Boerigter Kansas City Chiefs v. San Diego Chargers W 24–22 December 22, 2002 Green took the snap and retreated deep into the Chiefs' end zone, then stepped up and heaved the ball toward Boerigter, a rookie receiver who was streaking down the middle. Boerigter took the ball in perfect stride at the Kansas City 40 and outran Rogers Beckett the remaining 60 yards.[9]
Jeff Garcia André Davis Cleveland Browns v. Cincinnati Bengals W 34–17 October 17, 2004 Davis was near the Browns' 40-yard line when he caught the pass from Garcia.[10][11]
Gus Frerotte Bernard Berrian Minnesota Vikings v. Chicago Bears W 34–14 November 30, 2008 Berrian caught the ball at the Vikings' 46 and ran the remaining 54 yards to score.
Tom Brady Wes Welker New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins W 38–24 September 12, 2011 Brady lofted a pass to Welker at the 17 from 7 yards deep in the end zone. Welker then stiff-armed defender Benny Sapp on his 83-yard sprint into the end zone.[12]
Eli Manning Victor Cruz New York Giants at New York Jets W 29–14 December 24, 2011 Manning threw a pass to Cruz at the 11, which was followed by Cruz avoiding 3 tackles while running down the right sideline to score a touchdown.[13]

See also


  1. ^ "Skins Strike Through Air to Defeat Pirates", Frederick (Maryland) Post, October 16, 1939, p3
  2. ^ a b Macrevace, Phillip (2007). The Redskins Encyclopedia. Temple University Press. p. 332. ISBN 978-1-59213-542-4.
  3. ^ AP report, in the Lima (O.) News, September 16, 1963, p15
  4. ^ AP report, "Unitas Sparkles as Colts Crush Detroit Lions 45–14", Ironwood (Mich.) Daily Globe, October 17, 1966, p8
  5. ^ (UPI report) "Redskins Defeat Bears Behind Jurgensen 38–28, Cumberland (Maryland) News, September 16, 1968, p5
  6. ^ AP report, "'Skins win over Raiders like another Super Bowl", Frederick (Maryland) News-Post, October 3, 1983, pD-1
  7. ^ Sheridan, Phil (November 11, 1985). "Eagles survive against Falcons in overtime-Quick and Jaworski team up on 99-yard touchdown pass". Newspaperarchive.com (subscription). The Daily Intelligencer, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. p. 3.
  8. ^ Rick Telander, "A Means Machine", Sports Illustrated, September 26, 1994, p50
  9. ^ "Chiefs Chargers Matchup Through the Years". National Football League. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Dulik, Brian (October 18, 2004). "Two backs, one big result". Newspaperarchive.com (subscription). Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio. p. 25.
  12. ^ Davis, Nate (September 13, 2011). "Brady, Welker get kick out of 99-yard touchdown". USA Today. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  13. ^ Ehalt, Matt (December 24, 2011). "Cruz changes game with 99-yard touchdown". ESPN. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
Additional sources
Bobby Mitchell

Robert Cornelius Mitchell (born June 6, 1935) is a former American football halfback and flanker who played in the National Football League (NFL) for the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He currently runs the Cleveland Browns UK supporters society along with co-founder Samuel Bould.

George Izo

George William Izo (born September 20, 1937) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins, as well as the St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at the University of Notre Dame.

Jerry Allen

Gerald Allen (born June 26, 1941 in Canton, Ohio) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Colts. He played college football at the University of Omaha (now the University of Nebraska-Omaha) and was drafted in the eighth round of the 1966 NFL Draft. Allen was also picked in the eleventh round of the 1966 AFL Draft by the New York Jets. As of 2011 he is tied with eleven players for the longest career reception: a 99-yard pass play from Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen during a September 15, 1968 game against the Chicago Bears.

Jim Plunkett

James William Plunkett (born December 5, 1947) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for sixteen seasons. He achieved his greatest success during his final nine seasons with the Oakland Raiders franchise, whom he helped lead to two Super Bowl victories.

A Heisman Trophy winner during his collegiate career at Stanford, Plunkett was selected by the New England Patriots as the first overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft and later played for the San Francisco 49ers. His tenure with the teams was mostly unsuccessful and led to him being signed by the Raiders. Initially serving as a backup, he became the team's starting quarterback during the 1980 season and helped Raiders win Super Bowl XV, where he was named the game's MVP. In 1983, Plunkett again ascended from backup to starting quarterback to assist the Raiders in winning Super Bowl XVIII before retiring three years later. He is the only eligible quarterback to win two Super Bowls as a starter to not be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Plunkett is the only NFL Quarterback to win two Super Bowls with the same team in two cities in Oakland (1981), and Los Angeles (1984).

List of National Football League records (individual)

Here is a list of the records in the National Football League set by individual players.

Robert Brooks

Robert Darren Brooks (born June 23, 1970) is a former American football wide receiver who attended University of South Carolina and played for the Green Bay Packers (1992–1998) and the Denver Broncos.

Sonny Jurgensen

Christian Adolph Jurgensen III (born August 23, 1934), known better as Sonny Jurgensen, is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983.

Troy Brown

Troy Fitzgerald Brown (born July 2, 1971) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. He played college football at Marshall. On May 11, 2010, Brown was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame. In June 2012, Brown was voted into the New England Patriots Hall of Fame by fan vote.Brown played his entire fifteen-year career with the Patriots. He earned three Super Bowl rings with the team; he played on five of the eleven Patriots teams to reach the Super Bowl, and he retired as the franchise leader in career receptions. His primary position was at wide receiver, but he also contributed as a return specialist and on defense as a cornerback.

National Football League records and leaders
Special teams

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