Steelers Friday Flashback: Top 7 Longest Touchdown Receptions In Franchise History

With the Pittsburgh Steelers currently on their bye week and fresh on the heels of the franchise record-setting 97-yard touchdown reception by rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions, I thought today was as good of day as any to flashback to the top longest touchdown receptions in the history of the franchise.

In total, I have seven plays to revisit and before we get started, I wanted to point out that up until 1981, the Steelers longest touchdown reception took place in 1961. That play included Steelers quarterback Rudy Bukich connecting with slit-end Buddy Dial for an 87-yard touchdown against the Cleveland Browns late in the fourth quarter.

As mentioned, that Bukich to Dial touchdown pass remained in the Steelers record books for just over 20 years. However, before we get to the play that ultimately set the new franchise record, there were two other touchdown pass plays that were exactly 1-yard longer than the 1961 play.

Sunday, Nov 13, 1988 – Week 11 – vs Philadelphia Eagles – 3Q 6:14 – 2 & 9 – PIT 11 – Bubby Brister pass complete to Louis Lipps for 89 yards, touchdown.

In a 1988 Week 11 home game against the Philadelphia Eagles, quarterback Bubby Brister connected with wide receiver Louis Lipps on an 89-yard touchdown pass on a 2nd down and 9 play from the Steelers 11-yard-line. While I dont have a clip to show you of that play, Brister had escaped pressure to his right while Lipps ran a hook-and-go route on that side of the field. The deep pass was caught by Lipps with two Philadelphia defenders trying to contest the throw at around the Eagles 35-yard-line and he easily waltzed into the end zone for the score.

NO CLIP

Sunday, Sep 1, 1991 – Week 1 – Vs San Diego Chargers – 4Q 1:44 – 3 & 19 – PIT 11 – Neil O’Donnell pass complete to Dwight Stone for 89 yards, touchdown.

Against the San Diego Chargers in Week 1 of the 1991 season, an 89-yard touchdown pass from Neil O’Donnell to wide receiver Dwight Stone equaled to 1988 play from Brister to Lipps. That 3rd down and 19 play included Stone leaking out to the right flat for an easy dumpoff by O’Donnell and the speedy wide receiver/running back/kick returner did the rest as he raced 89 more yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.

Sunday Nov 8, 1981 – Week 10 – @ Seattle Seahawks – 2Q 14:11 – 2 & 10 – PIT 10 – Terry Bradshaw pass complete to Mark Malone for 90 yards, touchdown.

As mentioned earlier in the post, the 20-year-old record set by Dial and Bukich in 1961 was broken in 1981 thanks to quarterback Terry Bradshaw connecting with fellow quarterback Mark Malone for a 90-yard touchdown in a Week 10 road game against the Seattle Seahawks. Malone was asked to play wide receiver in that game due to injuries. On a 2nd and 10 play from the Steelers 10-yard-line, Bradshaw easy connected with a wide open Malone on the right side of the field at around the Steelers 35-yard-line and the quarterback-turned-wide receiver easily raced untouched the remaining 65-yards for a touchdown. It was easily a blown coverage on the play.

Sunday, Dec 16, 2001 – Week 14 – @ Baltimore Ravens – 4Q 9:20 – 3 & 7 – PIT 10 – Kordell Stewart pass complete to Bobby Shaw for 90 yards, touchdown.

That Bradshaw to Malone 90-yard touchdown completion stood as the Steelers franchise record touchdown reception play for 33 years but it was tied 20 years after it happened. In a Week 14 2001 road game against the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Kordell Stewart connected with wide receiver Bobby Shaw on a 90-yard touchdown pass with 9:20 left in the fourth quarter. That 3rd and 7 play included Stewart hitting Shaw in stride near the middle of the field at around the Steelers 35-yard-line and the wide receiver easily raced the remaining 65 yards for the touchdown.

Sunday Dec 7, 2014 – Week 14 – @ Cincinnati Bengals – 4Q 8:31 – 1 & 10 – PIT 6 – Ben Roethlisberger pass complete deep right to Martavis Bryant for 94 yards, touchdown.

Nearly 13 full years after Stewart connected with Shaw on a 90-yard touchdown pass, a new long touchdown pass record had already been set. However, in the fourth quarter of the Steelers Week 14 road game against the Cincinnati Bengals, wide receiver Martavis Bryant caught a 94-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on a 1st and 10 play and that score effectively became the second-longest touchdown pass in the history of the franchise at the time. Bryant had easily raced by the Bengals cornerback down the right side of the field and Roethlisberger hit him in stride almost near midfield. Bryant easily ran the remaining 50 or so yards untouched for the touchdown.

Sunday Oct 23, 2011- Week 7 – @ Arizona Cardinals – 2Q 8:09 – 1 & 14 – PIT 5 – Ben Roethlisberger pass complete deep right to Mike Wallace for 95 yards, touchdown.

Three years prior to Bryant scoring from 94-yards out in Cincinnati and almost 10 years after Shaw and Stewart tied the franchise record set by Bradshaw and Malone, wide receiver Mike Wallace become the franchise leader via a pass from Roethlisberger in a 2011 Week 7 road game against the Arizona Cardinals. Wallace, just as Bryant would eventually do three years later, easily raced past the defending cornerback and down the right side of the field and Roethlisberger’s deep pass connected with the wide receiver at around the Steelers 40-yard-line. The speedy Wallace then outraced two Cardinal defensive backs to the end zone for a 95-yard touchdown reception.

Sunday, Oct 29, 2017 – Week 8 – @ Detroit Lions – 3Q 3:01 – 3 & 9 – PIT 3 – Ben Roethlisberger pass complete to JuJu Smith-Schuster for 97 yards, touchdown.

This past Sunday in Detroit, Smith-Schuster finally broke Wallace’s six-year-old franchise record thanks to him scoring from 97-yards out in the third quarter on a 3rd and 9 play. Roethlisberger hit the rookie wide receiver in stride in the middle of the field at about the Steelers 30-yard-line and the USC product weaved his way to the end zone with three lions defenders in pursuit of him. The play was sort of reminiscent of the 2001 90-yard touchdown pass from Stewart to Shaw.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Sheesh just look how pretty Ben laid those up to Bryant and Wallace. Every single one of those this year seem like misses. Would love to see him land 1 or 2 of those.

    Obviously the JuJu pass was extremely pretty but the air yards weren’t quite like the others.

  • ThatGuy

    Those bombs to MB and Wallace were gorgeous. First half of the season it seems like those days are long gone.

  • Froggy

    I love how Louis Lipps manages to block three guys on the Dwight Stone TD.

  • Mark

    Terry Bradshaw deep balls to anybody were picturesque. He couldn’t put that ball into tight places all day long

  • Dale

    You can’t tell from this video, but I’ve read before that on Malone’s catch the Steelers actually sent 10 players to the huddle on purpose, then Malone just stepped onto the field from the sideline right before the play was called. Which was legal then, it seems.

  • What about the Batch pass to Miller against Miami in I forget the year? Was Ben out because of the appendectomy or suspension?

  • SteelersDepot

    87 yards

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Can’t sit well with Bryant that this is one more thing JuJu has that Bryant only nearly had.

  • Angel V

    I was there for the Ben to Wallace 95-yarder vs Arizona. To see it happen live was surreal!

  • walter

    Wow MB used to be good

  • francesco

    Still is.

  • francesco

    I’m sure he is happy for him. We are talking about only 3 yard difference.

  • Brenton deed

    I remember a Dan Rooney interview where he said Mark Malone had exceptional speed until he injured a knee.

  • HondoCogburn

    Warner to Harrison 100 yards, I know it doesn’t count, but it’s still fun to watch. Gettin another trophy this season!

  • HondoCogburn

    When he was smokin DB’s instead of that other stuff.

  • treeher

    So Ben owns the two longest and is tied for the 3rd longest.

  • CommonSenseGoneWild

    Those kinds of plays are fun to watch over and over.

  • So the JJSS play bumped it from the list.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Kinda funny how Ben isn’t his best on the road yet all 3 of his 94+ yard passes came on the road lol

  • Vic

    I was there too, I was on the end zone where Ben was throwing from, it was a good game

  • Besd1

    That was a monstrous block, wasn’t it?

  • Besd1

    Interestingly, the Wallace and Bryant throws both came off play action.

  • Besd1

    Thanks for this, that is so much fun to watch.

  • jsteeler

    Hopefully, we can see more play action in the second half.

  • jsteeler

    Great job. All of these memories are awesome.

  • will

    Belecheatesque

  • will

    Ben used to be accurate

  • EdJHJr

    This is great. Check the 1 on 3 block on the Stone catch

  • 6 ring circus

    We shoulda had at least 3 more trophies. Mark had a team that was good enough and he himself was talented enough to win it. Then there’s the Mendenhall fumble, and the Neil O’Donnell interceptions… not to mention all the AFC Championship game failures…smh

  • 6 ring circus

    Nice, like bowling pins, lol. Was that Louis Lipps?

  • Brenton deed

    And don’t mention not drafting Marino…

  • 6 ring circus

    OMG, no!

  • ryan72384

    Mike Wallace was fast but pre bulked up 2014-15 Martavis was faster I think. Anyways these memories are awesome. I remember the Bobby Shaw TD like yesterday. It was awesome because a long TD pass back then for a Steeler QB was like seeing Bigfoot.

  • Rod Hedrick

    Mark Malone’s only good play! This was awesome thanks Dave!