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. The play has occurred thirteen times in NFL history, most recently by Eli Manning and Victor Cruz. The Washington Commanders are the only team to have had multiple 99 yard passes, having done so three times. They were also the first franchise to complete one, accomplishing the feat in 1939. The Chicago Bears are the only team to have given up multiple 99 yard passes, doing so three times. Teams that have had a 99 yard pass play are 10–3 in the game it occurred in.
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. 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.
Thirteen 99-yard pass plays have occurred in the history of the National Football League:
|Frank Filchock||Andy Farkas||Washington Redskins||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."|
|George Izo||Bobby Mitchell||Washington Redskins||Cleveland Browns||L 37–14||September 15, 1963||"Izo had faded into the end zone and fired high and long. Mitchell ... caught the ball around midfield and scampered untouched for a touchdown."|
|Karl Sweetan||Pat Studstill||Detroit Lions||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."|
|Sonny Jurgensen||Jerry Allen||Washington Redskins||Chicago Bears||W 38–28||September 15, 1968||Allen caught the ball at the Washington 35 and ran the remaining 65 yards|
|Jim Plunkett||Cliff Branch||Los Angeles Raiders||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.|
|Ron Jaworski||Mike Quick||Philadelphia Eagles||Atlanta Falcons||W 23–17 (OT)||November 10, 1985||"Jaworski hit Quick ...at about the 20. Quick ran the 80 yards for the score."|
|Stan Humphries||Tony Martin||San Diego Chargers||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.|
|Brett Favre||Robert Brooks||Green Bay Packers||Chicago Bears||W 27–24||September 11, 1995||On Monday Night Football, Favre pump-faked a quick post pattern to Robert Brooks, who then ran an up-route that left Donnell Woolford behind. Brooks caught the ball at the Green Bay 32 and ran the remaining 68 yards untouched for the touchdown to put the Packers up 21–0 in the second quarter.|
|Trent Green||Marc Boerigter||Kansas City Chiefs||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.|
|Jeff Garcia||André Davis||Cleveland Browns||Cincinnati Bengals||W 34–17||October 17, 2004||Davis was near the Browns' 40-yard line when he caught the pass from Garcia.|
|Gus Frerotte||Bernard Berrian||Minnesota Vikings||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||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.|
|Eli Manning||Victor Cruz||New York Giants||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.|