Every game has it crucial moments, and there was no more crucial moment for the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s wild-card game against the Baltimore Ravens than defensive end Sam Hubbard’s 98-yard fumble return touchdown with 11:39 left in the fourth quarter. Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley tried to sneak the ball in for a touchdown, but he fumbled before he broke the plant, and Hubbard made the heroic play. The 98-yard play was the longest fumble recovery touchdown in postseason history.
Sam Hubbard takes the fumble 98 yards for the TD ‼️
📺: #BALvsCIN on NBC
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— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2023
As it turns out, Hubbard traveled longer than any NFL player this season in his quest for the end zone.
Sam Hubbard traveled 123.6 yards on his 98-yd fumble return TD, the most distance traveled by a ball carrier on a TD this season.
The @Bengals win probability increased by 42% as a result of the play (from 46% → 88%).#BALvsCIN | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/LPm8vSNM42
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 16, 2023
As ESPN’s Ed Werder pointed out, this was another bad moment for a Baltimore football team. There had been one before.
@ESPNStatsInfo: The previous longest fumble return in the playoffs was 93 yards by Andy Russell in the 1975 Divisional Playoffs vs the Baltimore Colts — so the city of Baltimore has been on the wrong side of the two longest fumble returns in NFL postseason history.
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) January 16, 2023
In Russell’s case, it took him a day or two to reach the end zone… but a touchdown is a touchdown.
Russell's fumble return touchdown. You can go get dinner and come back. He'll still be running. https://t.co/FJH4Ydp4ea
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) January 16, 2023