You may have noticed, amid all the whirling footballs Monday night, that 99 of Tom Brady’s 517 passing yards against the Dolphins came on one play – with Patriots teammate Wes Welker on the receiving end.
It was the 12th 99-yard TD pass in NFL history – they don’t get any longer – but that’s not why I bring it up. I bring it up because half of those dozen quarterbacks played for the Redskins (though they didn’t necessarily chuck the 99-yarder while wearing a Washington uniform). The six with local ties:
● Frank Filchock, Oct. 15, 1939 – Threw the first 99-yard TD pass, to fullback Andy Farkas in the Redskins’ 44-14 win over Pittsburgh (his original team). Filchock was a fine QB who rotated with Sammy Baugh for several years and played in the ’40 and ’45 championship games. Alas, he’s probably better remembered for getting caught up in an attempt to fix the title game in ’46, when he was the Giants, and getting booted out of the league. (After being exiled to the CFL, he was allowed to return to the NFL briefly in 1950.) He was also the Denver Broncos’ first coach (1960-61) – as Mike Shanahan can probably tell you. Right, Mike?
● George Izo, Sept. 15, 1963 – Hit wideout Bobby Mitchell for a 99-yard score in the Redskins’ season-opening 37-14 loss to the Browns (Mitchell’s original team). Izo, who broke in with the Cardinals, threw only 153 passes in his four seasons in Washington (1961-64), but one of them was this beauty.
● Sonny Jurgensen, Sept. 15, 1968 – Connected with running back Gerry Allen for a 99-yarder in the Redskins’ season-opening 38-28 victory over the Bears. It was the only 100-yard receiving game (4 for 121) of Allen’s career. (Next best: 41 yards later that year against the Cardinals.)
● Stan Humphries, Sept. 18, 1994 – Fired a 99-yard pass to wideout Tony Martin in the Chargers’ 24-10 win over the Seahawks. San Diego went to the Super Bowl that season with Humphries, the ex-Redskin (1989-91), as its QB.
● Trent Green, Dec. 22, 2002 – Hooked up with wideout Marc Boerigter for 99 yards in the Chiefs’ 24-22 victory over the Chargers. Green, of course, threw 23 touchdown passes for the Redskins in 1998 before leaving in free agency.
● Gus Frerotte, Nov. 30, 2008 – Tossed a 99-yarder to wideout Bernard Berrian to put the Vikings ahead to stay in a 34-14 romp over the Bears. It was the last season of Frerotte’s well-traveled 15-year career, which began in Washington (1994-98).
A few other notes:
1. Isn’t it amazing that none of the quarterbacks was Baugh, great as he was?
2. Strangely, there have been more 99-yard passes (12) than 98-yarders (9) or 97-yarders (a mere 5).
3. The only 99-yarder against the Redskins came in an Oct. 2, 1983 game versus the Raiders at RFK Stadium – when Jim Plunkett and Cliff Branch caught the Pearl Harbor Crew napping. (It was the only pass Branch caught all day.) Joe Gibbs’ team won, though, 37-35, rallying from a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter.