NFL: How hard is it to catch a pass from a Quarterback?

Catching passes from a professional NFL quarterback is no easy feat. Here is a look at how hard is it for a wide receiver to catch a pass from a quarterback.

Every NFL team needs to have a good partnership between its quarterback (QB) and wide receiver (WR). There are plenty of examples of teams finding success because of their QB and WR being in great tandem. The partnership between a wide receiver and a quarterback can significantly improve if they play more and more matches together.

Before we take a look at how hard is it for a wide receiver to to catch a pass from their quarterback let’s take a look at some QB-WR partnerships.


Tom Brady and Julian Edelman

One of the most popular examples of the WR-Quarterback duo is the partnership between Tom Brady and Julian Edelman at New England Patriots. The Patriots hadn’t won the Super Bowl for nine years and that’s when Edelman was made the starting WR. In the next five years, the Brady-Edelman partnership played a crucial role in winning three rings (trophies) for the Patriots. One of their best moment as a duo came in Super Bowl XLIX (49) in 2015. Brady and Edelman combined together to make the winning touchdown for the Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks.

Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison

Possibly the best QB-WR duo statistically is Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. They spent 11 seasons together at the Indianapolis Colts. In those 11 seasons, they scored 112 touchdowns which is the highest for any QB-WR duo. They even won the Super Bowl XLI (41) in 2006. It is highly unlikely that their record for most touchdowns will ever be broken.

One of the most crucial elements of the game of American football is the forward pass, as well as the successful receipt of the forward pass. When you watch it on TV or in person, the wide receivers make it look almost effortless to catch a deep pass from an all-star quarterback. NFL wide receivers, though, are not your typical human.

The average speed of a throw from a Quarterback

The strength with which a quarterback can throw the ball is one of the most outstanding qualities that coaches and commentators look at in quarterbacks. Surprisingly, practically every quarterback to ever play the position is unable to throw the football faster than 60 mph (96.56 kmph). 

This number may appear alarmingly slow when compared to a sport like baseball, but because of the weight, shape and aerodynamics of a football, the speed in relation to the size of the ball is actually quite astounding. The speed of the throw is something that many quarterbacks can excel upon, but the more important and undoubtedly difficult task comes when a QB has to throw the football with enough accuracy to reach the wide receiver. The average weight of a football is more than 400 grams which makes the task of throwing even tougher for the QB.

How hard is it to catch a pass from a Quarterback?

It is extremely challenging to catch a professional quarterback’s pass due to the speed, shape and distance a football travels when it is thrown from their hands. However, wide receiver is a position that requires a tremendous amount of talent and expertise because they are responsible for catching the quarterbacks’ high-speed passes.

There are normally just four to six wide receivers on the rosters of any NFL team. In terms of pass-catching ability, these 4-6 players are the best of the best and because of this, they are highly demanded and are a hot property in the early rounds of the NFL draft. A football thrown by an NFL quarterback is tough to catch because of its speed and shape and the typical person or even average athlete cannot be expected to do it on a regular basis.

How do wide receivers find success in receiving passes from QBs?

Wide receivers can improve their chances of catching a throw travelling at 60 mph (96.56 kmph) from a quarterback by doing a few things in addition to being in peak physical condition, working out for years and having natural skill. Positioning the hands to make the grab is a significant component of the task of catching a football. In contrast to a basketball, which is round and can be held from any place, a football must be caught in a specific way to ensure a secure hold. 

The excellent hand positioning of wide receivers at the professional level makes catching a pass simpler than it would be with a typical catching hand posture. Other things wide receivers concentrate on to guarantee a cleaner pass completion include tucking the ball after a catch and being careful not to catch the ball too near to the body.


the partnership between a quarterback and a wide receiver is a critical element in the success of an NFL team. We’ve seen iconic QB-WR duos like Tom Brady and Julian Edelman or Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison, whose synergy on the field led to Super Bowl victories and record-breaking performances.

Catching a pass from an NFL quarterback is no easy feat. The speed and shape of the football, combined with the distance it travels, make it an incredibly challenging task. Wide receivers are elite athletes who sharpen their skills to perfection. The combination of athleticism and accuracy needed to succeed on the field is demonstrated in American football by the relationship between a quarterback and a wide receiver. 

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