In the wild card round of the 2017-18 NFL season, Marcus Mariota, quarterback of the Tennessee Titans, made a pass to himself for a 6-yard touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This makes me wonder how many times in the history of the NFL a quarterback has made a pass to himself that resulted in positive yardage? And how many times has that resulted in a touchdown?

Please list the quarterbacks who've done this for both questions.


1 Answer 1


I think I got all the positive-yard self-passes, but there are some that may have occurred way in the past that I missed. Football-Reference stops keeping detailed play-by-plays around 1994, so from Harbaugh down, I only counted the ones that I could confirm happened via the box score, but there are some that may have occurred but were unverifiable.

Only two have been caught for touchdowns, three were in the playoffs, but only one in the playoffs AND for a touchdown (the Mariota one that sparked the question). Most were for single-digit yards, but the longest was for 20 in 1959 from Milt Plum. Drew Brees has the most positive-yard self-passes in his career with 4.

Here is an image:


Since there is no table markdown in Stack Exchange, here is the lists specified to OP's request. Since the image has more detail, I am leaving it up.

QBs which have passed to themselves for positive yardage:

  • Johnny Unitas
  • Lamar McHan
  • Y.A. Tittle
  • Milt Plum
  • John Hadl
  • Sam Wyche
  • Tommy Kramer
  • Richard Todd
  • Dave Krieg (2)
  • Bernie Kosar (2)
  • Bobby Hebert (2)
  • Vinny Testaverde (2)
  • Steve Young
  • Jim Harbaugh
  • Bubby Brister
  • Brad Johnson (TD)
  • Jake Plummer (2)
  • Kent Graham
  • Steve Strenstrom
  • Donovan McNabb (3)
  • Trent Green
  • Marc Bulger (2)
  • Joey Harrington (2)
  • Steve McNair
  • Aaron Brooks
  • Michael Vick
  • Drew Brees (4)
  • Kurt Warner
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Jimmy Garoppolo
  • Sam Bradford
  • Carson Wentz
  • Alex Smith
  • Marcus Mariota (TD)
  • Hey @pawr. I know you answered the question over a year ago, but can you add a link to Football-reference page you used to gather the data? I like your answer and with the reference I can accept it. Sorry for such a late response
    – alamoot
    Nov 9, 2019 at 2:36
  • I was really curious after seeing Lamar Jackson gain 13 yards in the AFC championship game yesterday. Maybe you can update the table? Jan 30 at 1:16

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