How rare is it for an NFL game to include a 98-yard run? So rare that it had only been done once, by Ahman Green in 2003 (while Tony Dorsett ran for 99 yards on one play in 1983). How rare is it for an NFL game to include two 98-yard runs? So rare that this Sunday’s game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers was the first time it ever happened.
Tampa Bay’s running back Ronald Jones came into Sunday having not impressed Jon Ledyard, who covers the team for Pewter Report.
You just can’t play Ronald Jones anymore. Few players have hurt their team more than he has this year
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) November 15, 2020
As if on cue, Jones made Ledyard regret that thought by rattling off a 98-yard touchdown scamper to put the team up 27-17 in the 3rd quarter.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones with a 98-YARD TOUCHDOWN! pic.twitter.com/izlicGwtQx
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) November 15, 2020
Jones became just the fourth NFL player to ever record a run of 98 yards or longer and finished the day with 192 rushing yards on 23 carries.
Wow. Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones just became the 4th player in NFL history with a 98-yard or longer run in NFL history.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) November 15, 2020
Mighty impressive on its own. But then, with the Panthers down 32-17 in the fourth quarter, Carolina kick returner Trenton Cannon received a kick two yards deep in the end zone and proceeded to run it all the way back to Tampa’s 4-yard line before getting tackled by Sean Murphy-Bunting. The tackle not only saved a touchdown but also ensured that the game would include two 98-yard plays, the first time that’s ever happened in the NFL.
Trenton Cannon gets the @Panthers inside the five with a 98-yard kick return!
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2020
Cannon got a chance to get some make-up point on the eventual two-point conversion following a Teddy Bridgewater touchdown, but the pass was incomplete.
Ultimately, the Bucs pulled away for a big 46-23 win on the day. But this game will still be remembered more for the fact that it included two 98-yard plays, and even weirder, that one of them wasn’t even a touchdown.