Jim Plunkett of the Oakland Raiders launched the longest touchdown throw in NFL history in 1983. With the Raiders facing the Denver Broncos in the playoffs, Plunkett completed a 70-yard pass to David Hayes that tied an NFL record.
The record has since been broken but not until after it was first established. In 2001, Tom Brady threw for 73 yards against the San Diego Chargers to set a new league record. He also broke the old record held by Plunkett.
Today, we will discuss the maximum distance that a football player can throw the ball. The answer is not very far. A modern quarterback can toss the ball 70 yards or more and occasionally one reaches even further. But the total distance thrown by most quarterbacks is less than 100 yards.
The man who holds the all-time mark for highest career passer rating is Peyton Manning with 91.3. He has the opportunity to break this record in 2015 when he joins the Indianapolis Colts from Denver Broncos.
So, the maximum distance that a quarterback can throw the ball is not very far. However, the average distance thrown by most quarterbacks is around 50 yards.
Terrelle Pryor's 93-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers was the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in NFL history. The record had previously been held by Doug Flutie with 89 yards for the San Diego Chargers in 1995.
Pryor's score tied the game at 7 late in the fourth quarter and helped the Cleveland Browns beat the Steelers 17-14. He finished with 108 yards on 13 carries.
The previous record was set by Flutie with his 89-yard touchdown run against the New England Patriots on December 8, 1995. That game ended in a 16-16 tie.
Flutie played college football at Boston College where he was an all-American wide receiver and team captain as a senior in 1985. He went on to play seven seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills after being selected in the first round of the 1988 NFL Draft.
Pryor is a former University of Cincinnati star who last season led the Browns to their first win over the Steelers since 1999 when they traded places back and forth throughout the game down to the final minutes. This season he has completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,074 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
In practice, most NFL quarterbacks can throw the ball 70-80 yards. Aaron Rodgers has the longest throw in a game scenario that I could locate in the last ten years. Rodgers' Hail Mary against the Lions in December 2013 spanned around 68 yards in the air. The ball was caught by Detroit's Calvin Johnson with 2:41 left on the clock for a touchdown.
The longest pass in history was thrown by Joe Kapp of the Chicago Bears in 1954. He threw a ball 79 yards in a college game vs Iowa State University. This was also one of the first passing games in NFL history. There were only eight other passers at the time including Bob Griese and Terry Bradshaw who would later become two of the greatest QBs in Miami Hurricanes history.
Kapp was a fine quarterback himself, having led the Bears to the 1950 National Football League Championship Game before getting injured. He also had three other top 10 passing seasons during his seven year career.
The record is now held by Tom Brady who passed for 710 yards against the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. That's right, 80 yards more than Rodgers!
It's worth mentioning that both Kapp and Brady played their college football at the University of Michigan. One of the best programs in the nation at the time.
There are some exceptions though.
He led the league in yards gained four years in a row (1979–1982) and was one of just four quarterbacks to have back-to-back 400-yard throwing games. Unfortunately for Fouts, the San Diego defense was always permitted to return to the field, therefore there was no Super Bowl. The last time two consecutive 400-yard passers met on the same team was 1972 when Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Len Dawson of the Oakland Raiders each had 400 yards against them.
Fouts has never been accused of being shy about throwing the ball, but even he had his limits. In 1983, he passed for 511 yards, the most ever by a player until Drew Brees broke this record the following year. Fouts also threw five touchdowns that season, another single-season record that still stands today.
Although he played in the ultra-competitive AFC West during most of his career, Fouts only had three 200-yard passing games and was never able tied game scores with any type of consistency. He did manage to lead California to the 1981 NCAA Division I-A Football Championship Game before losing to Miami (Ohio). After retiring as a Cal player after the 1982 season, Fouts came out of retirement to join the Chargers as a free agent in 1983. He died in 2013 at the age of 70.
This is part of a six-touchdown victory over the Denver Broncos. Brady threw six touchdown passes of more than 35 yards in the postseason. In 2006, it threw the longest throw of 63 yards to Ben Watson. The record is 69 yards by Joe Montana in 1981.
Brady is 5-1 in the playoffs and has won each of his games by at least three points. He is one win away from becoming the first player in NFL history to begin a playoff run with five consecutive road victories.
In addition to being the Patriots' quarterback, Brady is known for his strong arm and accurate passing game. In 2007, he became the third quarterback in NFL history to reach 10,000 yards passing when he completed 28 of 39 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns against the Denver Broncos on November 20. He broke this mark himself earlier in the season with 10,097 yards passed since 2001. Brady also has 93 touchdown passes compared to only 37 interceptions during that time.
Brady was born on January 4, 1977 in Brookline, Massachusetts. He played college football at Michigan State University from 1996 to 1999 and spent one season (2000) with the New England Patriots as a rookie before going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.