Longest plays in NFL playoff history: Bengals’ Sam Hubbard adds to list with fumble return TD vs. Ravens


Sam Hubbard showed off that speed from his lacrosse days.

The fifth-year Bengals defensive end raced 98 yards for the longest fumble recovery touchdown in NFL playoff history Sunday night after scooping up a fumble by Ravens QB Tyler Huntley early in the fourth quarter. Huntley tried to leap over the pile to score a touchdown but had the ball knocked out by linebacker Logan Wilson.

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The scoop-and-score not only prevented a Ravens go-ahead touchdown, it also gave Cincinnati a 24-17 lead with 11:39 left in the game. Cincinnati won by that score.

MORE: Ravens’ John Harbaugh cuts sideline interview short

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Hubbard ran 123.6 yards on the return as he evaded a late tackle attempt by tight end Mark Andrews to get to the end zone.

Where does Hubbard’s return rank among the longest plays in NFL playoff history? Here’s what you need to know.

Longest plays in NFL playoff history

Hubbard’s play was the longest fumble return touchdown in NFL playoff history and tied for the 11th-longest play in postseason history, according to Pro Football Reference. Among non-kick returns, it is tied for the fifth-longest.

Player Play type Yards Team Opponent Date
Jacoby Jones Kick return 108 Baltimore Ravens San Francisco 49ers Feb. 3, 2013
Knile Davis Kick return 106 Kansas City Chiefs Houston Texans Jan. 9, 2016
Trindon Holliday Kick return 104 Denver Broncos Baltimore Ravens Jan. 12, 2013
Eric Weems Kick return 102 Atlanta Falcons Green Bay Packers Jan. 15, 2011
Taron Johnson INT return 101 Buffalo Bills Baltimore Ravens Jan. 16, 2021
George Teague INT return 101 Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions Jan. 8, 1994
Brian Mitchell Kick return 100 Washington Redskins Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jan. 15, 2000
James Harrison INT return 100 Pittsburgh Steelers Arizona Cardinals Feb. 1, 2009
Champ Bailey INT return 100 Denver Broncos New England Patriots Jan. 14, 2006
Desmond Howard Kick return 99 Green Bay Packers New England Patriots Jan. 26, 1997
Dion Lewis Kick return 98 New England Patriots Houston Texans Jan. 14, 2017
Andre Coleman Kick return 98 San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Jan. 29, 1995
Fulton Walker Kick return 98 Miami Dolphins Washington Redskins Jan. 30, 1983
Darrol Ray INT return 98 New York Jets Cincinnati Bengals Jan. 9, 1983
Sam Hubbard Fumble return 98 Cincinnati Bengals Baltimore Ravens Jan. 15, 2023

This is the second time a long defensive play has cost the Ravens in major way in the playoffs. Against the Bills in the AFC divisional round on Jan. 16, 2021, Lamar Jackson marched Baltimore to the Bills’ 9-yard line before heaving a pass into the end zone for Mark Andrews. Taron Johnson picked off the pass and returned it 101 yards for a touchdown, tying for the fifth-longest play in NFL playoff history and the longest defensive play in NFL playoff history.

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But the Ravens also have the longest play in NFL playoff history in their favor. In Super Bowl 47, Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff 108 yards against the 49ers to give John Harbaugh’s squad a 28-6 lead over the 49ers, coached by his brother Jim Harbaugh.

The longest offensive play in NFL playoff history happened well shy of the top special teams and defensive plays. And, like the top special teams play, it, too, came from the Ravens. In the 2001 AFC championship game, Ravens quarterback Trent Dilfer connected with Shannon Sharpe for a 96-yard touchdown pass to give Baltimore an early lead vs. the Raiders.

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