Yes believe it or not a quarterback is able to catch their own pass, but only in unique circumstances. A quarterback cannot throw up a pass, run down the field and catch it himself.
Instead the only way to catch your own pass is if it deflects off of an opposing player. The most common circumstance that this happens is when a defensive lineman bats a ball out of the air.
It is not uncommon for these batted balls to find their way back into the backfield. At this point a quarterback may be able to catch the ball.
Can A Quarterback Throw The Ball Twice In Football
Say the quarterback throws his pass and it is batted right back into his own hands. At this point is he able to throw the ball? The answer to that question is no. The only way in which a quarterback can throw the ball twice in a play is if one of the passes is backwards.
A backwards pass is referred to as a lateral pass and there is no limit on the number of lateral passes you can throw in a single play.
What Do You Do When You Catch Your Own Pass?
Now that we know you can catch your own pass but you aren’t allowed to throw it you may be wondering what you can do. The only real option once you catch your own pass as a quarterback is to run with the ball.
Though it is quite uncommon the few times in which a quarterback catches their own pass they are usually able to pick up a couple yards with their feet.
The other option you have is to toss the ball laterally to a teammate. Though as you will see in the video below these plays move pretty quickly and the quarterback tends to run with the ball in these situations.
Examples Of Quarterbacks Catching Their Own Passes
Now that you know what is and what isn’t legal when it comes to catching your own passes it time to see it in action.
This example is an especially fun because Brett Favre’s pass to himself was his first completion in the NFL. In this play Favre snaps the ball performs a play action and then rolls to his right. The left defensive end does not buy the fake and ends up right in Brett Favres face.
Favre attempts to get the pass off quickly but the defensive end puts his hands up. The ball deflects on the defensive end hands and comes right back to Favre. He unwisely catches the ball and ends up taking a loss of eight yards.
Another great example of a quarterback passing to himself comes from a Chiefs Titans game in 2018. This play is a great example because in this play Marcus Mariota manages to throw a touchdown to himself. In this play, Mariota is quite close to the goal line and attempts to throw to a heavily recovered receiver in the endzone.
One of the defenders batts the ball out of the air right back to Mariota. Mariota then catches the ball in stride and dives into the endzone. He received both a passing touchdown and a receiving touchdown on that play.
The last example we are going to show you regarding catching your own pass is from Tom Brady’s first season on the Buccaneers. In this play, the quarterback throws the ball which is then batted right back into his hands via the defensive line.
At this point, Brady catches the ball and throws it downfield for a completion. You will see in the video that right as Brady throws his second forward pass a flag is thrown as this play is not legal.