How Far Can NFL Throw?




Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

In the world of American Football, the power and precision of a throw can often make or break a game. Picture this: the quarterback drops back, surveys the field, and with a flick of the wrist, launches the pigskin through the air, sailing over the heads of defenders and into the waiting hands of a wide receiver. It’s an awe-inspiring display of athleticism and skill, leaving crowds breathless and opponents scrambling to keep up.

In this article, we will dive deep into the art of the NFL throw, exploring just how far these quarterbacks can launch that oblong ball. From the legendary bombs that have gone down in history, to the science and technique behind a successful pass, we will uncover the secrets of this pivotal element in American Football. So, whether you’re a die-hard fan looking to impress your friends with some trivia knowledge, or a newcomer to the sport seeking to understand the nuances and excitement of the game, join us as we unravel the mysteries of just how far the NFL can throw. Get ready, football enthusiasts, as we embark on this journey through the air!

NFL Throws

When it comes to NFL throws, there are various factors that can affect the distance a quarterback can throw the ball. In this article, we will explore the different types of throws, the longest throws in NFL history, and the key factors that affect throw distance. Whether you’re a fan of the game or aspiring to be a quarterback yourself, understanding these elements is essential to fully appreciate the skill and athleticism required in the NFL.

Types of Throws

There are three main types of throws in the NFL: short throws, medium throws, and deep throws. Each type requires the quarterback to adjust their technique and aim to hit their receiver accurately.

Short Throws

Short throws are typically quick passes made within a few yards of the quarterback. These throws require precision and timing, as the receiver needs to be in the right spot to catch the ball quickly and gain yards after the catch. Short throws are commonly used in screen passes and quick slant routes, where the goal is to create a small gain in yardage.

See also  Why Is American Football Played With Hands?

Medium Throws

Medium throws, also known as intermediate throws, cover a larger distance than short throws but are not as deep as long throws. These throws require the quarterback to hit their receiver accurately within a specific coverage area. Routes such as out, dig, and post patterns are commonly executed with medium throws, allowing the offense to move the ball effectively down the field.

Deep Throws

Deep throws, also referred to as bombs or long bombs, are the most visually impressive throws in the NFL. These throws cover a significant distance, often over 30 yards, and require both arm strength and precision. Deep throws are usually intended to target receivers running deep routes, such as go routes and post-corner routes, and can result in game-changing touchdown plays.

How Far Can NFL Throw?

Longest Throws in NFL History

Now, let’s take a look at some of the longest throws in NFL history. These throws showcase the incredible arm strength and accuracy possessed by quarterbacks who can launch the ball deep down the field.

Record-Breaking Throws

One of the record-breaking throws in NFL history was made by quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. In a 2018 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Mahomes’ tremendous arm strength allowed him to complete a 78-yard touchdown pass. This throw not only demonstrated Mahomes’ ability to launch the ball downfield but also showcased his accuracy in hitting the receiver in stride for a touchdown.

Hall of Fame Quarterbacks with Long Throws

Throughout NFL history, there have been several Hall of Fame quarterbacks known for their impressive long throws. Among them is Brett Favre, who was known for his ability to launch the ball deep down the field with remarkable arm strength. Favre’s longest recorded throw was a 99-yard touchdown pass to Robert Brooks in 1995.

Quarterback Mechanics

To achieve the greatest throwing distance and accuracy, quarterbacks must focus on their mechanics. Proper footwork, body alignment, grip, and release all play crucial roles in delivering a successful throw.

Proper Footwork

One of the key components of quarterback mechanics is proper footwork. By aligning their feet correctly, quarterbacks can generate power and transfer it into the throw. This involves stepping into the throw, utilizing a proper weight transfer, and maintaining balance throughout the delivery.

Body Alignment

In addition to footwork, a quarterback’s body alignment is crucial for an effective throw. Proper alignment ensures that the quarterback can engage their core muscles and generate torque, which translates into throwing power. Maintaining good posture and body alignment allows for a smooth and efficient throwing motion.

Grip and Release

The grip and release of the football are fundamental aspects of quarterback mechanics. Finding the right grip on the football allows for better control and accuracy during the throw. Additionally, the release is essential in determining the trajectory and velocity of the ball. Quarterbacks must focus on their grip and release mechanics to ensure the ball arrives at its intended target.

See also  How Many NFL Teams No Longer Exist?

How Far Can NFL Throw?

Arm Strength

Arm strength is a vital attribute for quarterbacks aiming to make long throws. It refers to the ability to generate power and distance with their arm when throwing the football.

Muscle Development

To enhance their arm strength, quarterbacks need to focus on muscle development. Regular training and strength exercises specific to the shoulder, forearm, and core muscles can improve throwing power. Building strength in these areas enables quarterbacks to generate more velocity and launch the ball further down the field.

Training Exercises

There are several exercises that quarterbacks can incorporate into their training regimen to improve arm strength. Weightlifting exercises like the bench press and shoulder press can help build upper body strength. Additionally, plyometric exercises such as medicine ball throws and rotational exercises can enhance explosiveness in throwing movements.

Throwing Techniques

Proper throwing technique is essential for utilizing arm strength effectively. Quarterbacks must learn to engage their whole body, from their feet to their fingertips, in the throwing motion. This allows for a seamless transfer of power from the lower body to the arm, maximizing velocity and distance.

Weather Conditions

Another significant factor that can impact throw distance in the NFL is weather conditions. Quarterbacks must adapt to various elements such as wind, temperature, and playing surface.

Effect on Throw Distance

Wind and temperature can both affect the distance a quarterback can throw the ball. Strong winds can alter the trajectory of the ball, making it challenging to maintain accuracy and throwing distance. Additionally, colder temperatures can affect the grip on the football, potentially reducing the distance and control of the throw.

Wind and Temperature

When facing windy conditions, quarterbacks must adjust their throwing technique to compensate for the wind’s impact. This may involve altering the trajectory of the throw or putting more spin on the ball to counter wind resistance. In colder temperatures, quarterbacks may opt for gloves to improve grip and maintain control of the football.

Playing Surface

The playing surface can also affect throw distance, especially in adverse weather conditions. Slippery or wet surfaces can impact a quarterback’s ability to plant their feet properly and generate power in their throws. Field conditions must be taken into consideration, and quarterbacks may need to adjust their mechanics or throw with more caution to maintain accuracy.

How Far Can NFL Throw?

Receiving Ability

Lastly, the receiving ability of the player on the other end of the throw can greatly impact the overall success of the play. Receivers must possess certain skills to ensure a successful connection with the quarterback.

See also  Who First Started American Football?

Catching Techniques

Receivers must have excellent catching techniques to secure the ball and maintain possession after the throw. Proper hand positioning, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to adjust to the flight of the ball are essential for successful receptions. Receivers who can consistently catch the ball in various situations enhance the quarterback’s confidence in making deep throws.

Route Running

The ability of receivers to run precise routes is crucial for successful connections with the quarterback. Sharp cuts, timing, and understanding of the offensive playbook all contribute to the receiver’s ability to create separation from defenders and be in the right position to receive the ball.

Speed and Agility

Receivers with exceptional speed and agility can create matchup advantages against defenders. The ability to accelerate quickly and change direction rapidly allows receivers to get open and create opportunities for long throws down the field. Speed and agility are key attributes that complement the quarterback’s ability to make deep throws.

Short Throws

While long throws often receive much attention, short throws are equally important in NFL strategy.


Short throws are quick passes made within a few yards of the quarterback. They are designed to create small gains in yardage and exploit gaps in the defense with precision and timing.

Importance in Game Strategy

Short throws are often utilized to move the chains and sustain drives. By completing short, high-percentage passes, quarterbacks can keep the offense on the field and open up opportunities for longer throws later in the game. Additionally, short throws can be used as a tool to confuse the defense and set up play-action passes.

Deep Throws

Deep throws are the epitome of excitement in the NFL. These throws cover a significant distance and can result in game-changing plays.


Deep throws refer to long passes that cover a significant amount of yards, usually over 30 yards. They are ambitious throws that require both arm strength and accuracy to hit a receiver running deep routes.

Air Yards

In addition to the distance covered, deep throws also involve air yards. Air yards are the distance the ball travels in the air before being caught or hitting the ground. Deep throws often require quarterbacks to throw the ball high and far to allow the receiver time to run under it and make a play.

Deep Ball Accuracy

Accuracy is key when it comes to deep throws. Quarterbacks must not only throw the ball far but also place it precisely for the receiver to catch it in stride. A well-executed deep throw can result in long touchdowns and momentum-shifting plays that electrify the crowd.

In conclusion, NFL throws encompass a wide range of distances and techniques. Quarterbacks must consider factors such as mechanics, arm strength, weather conditions, and the receiving ability of their targets. By understanding these elements, we gain a deeper appreciation for the skill and strategy involved in completing successful throws in the NFL. So, the next time you watch a game, keep an eye on the quarterbacks and marvel at their ability to launch the ball downfield.

About the author

Latest posts

  • What Is American Football Called In Mexico?

    What Is American Football Called In Mexico?

    Discover what American football is called in Mexico! This article explores the unique terminology and popularity of American football in Mexico, highlighting its growth, key differences from soccer, and the impact of the Mexican American Football Federation. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fan, this informative post provides a comprehensive overview of American football…

    Read more

  • Who Is A Better QB Than Brady?

    Who Is A Better QB Than Brady?

    Discover who can truly surpass the legendary Tom Brady as the best QB in the NFL. Compare stats, achievements, and career highlights of the top 10 quarterbacks in history.

    Read more