Long before Marcus Mariota did it in the 2017 AFC Wild Card game, Brad Johnson became the first person. . .we think. . .on record to throw a touchdown pass to himself when he accomplished the feat against the Carolina Panthers on 12 October 1997.
Honestly, I still think the most impressive part about that wasn’t Johnson catching the deflection by defensive tackle Greg Kragen (that appeared to be intended for tight end Andrew Glover). . .it was the moves he made afterwards. Johnson, who was not exactly known as being fleet of foot, managed to make one defender miss after the catch and then got out on the edge to complete what went down in the scorebook as a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brad Johnson to Brad Johnson.
Recently, Ralph Warner from NFL.com put together a list of the Ten Strangest Touchdowns in NFL History, and Johnson’s touchdown pass to himself came in at #7 on the list. . .one spot behind Mariota’s version that came more than 20 years later.
The Vikings are also on the wrong end of one of the touchdowns on this list, as the infamous Antonio Freeman catch from that rainy Monday Night at Lambeau Field in 2000 was on the list at #3 overall.
Frankly, it’s a little hard to believe that Johnson’s touchdown pass to himself was over 20 years ago. I mean, I know it was a while back, but it doesn’t seem like that long ago, you know?