The Longest Field Goal in NFL History to Date

Posted by Custom Throwback Jerseys on 3rd Mar 2024

Kicking a field goal in the NFL is no small feat, especially when aiming for record-breaking distances. The title of the longest field goal carries with it not just bragging rights, but a story of precision, strength, and a moment that enters NFL lore.

As we explore the longest field goals ever made, each kick tells a unique story of nerve, technique, and the sheer will to push the boundaries of the game. These record-setting moments highlight individual excellence and set the stage for an inspiring journey through football history.

The Record-Breaking 66-Yard Field Goal

On September 26, 2021, Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens set a new record for the longest field goal in NFL history. The record-breaking kick took place in a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. With just three seconds left on the clock, Tucker successfully kicked a 66-yard field goal, breaking the previous record of 64 yards set by Matt Prater in 2013.

Justin Tucker, born on November 21, 1989, is an American football placekicker for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He played college football for the University of Texas and was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

Tucker is considered one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and has been named first-team All-Pro five times.

The 66-yard field goal was not only a personal best for Tucker but also a historic moment for the NFL. The kick was so powerful that it hit the crossbar before bouncing over for a successful attempt. This record-breaking field goal helped the Ravens secure a 19-17 victory over the Lions. 

Here are some key statistics from Tucker’s career:

  • Field Goal Percentage: 90.2%
  • Longest Field Goal: 66 yards
  • Field Goals Made: 395-438
  • Games Played: 81 

Dome Advantage: The conditions inside Ford Field on the day of the record-breaking kick were ideal, eliminating variables like wind and weather. Such controlled environments can contribute significantly to the success of long-field goals.

The 64-Yard Club

Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos holds the distinction of being the sole member of the 64-yard club. He achieved this feat on December 8, 2013, during a game against the Tennessee Titans. The game took place at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado, a location known for its high altitude and thin air, which can aid in longer kicks.

Prater’s 64-yard field goal broke the previous record of 63 yards, which had been achieved by four kickers: Tom Dempsey in 1970, Jason Elam in 1998, Sebastian Janikowski in 2011, and David Akers in 2012.

Prater’s record stood unchallenged for nearly eight years until Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens kicked a 66-yard field goal in 2021. As a veteran kicker, he had been with the Broncos since 2007 at the time of his record-breaking kick.

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013, the same year he made the 64-yard field goal. Prater’s record-breaking kick came in the second quarter of the game, with three seconds left in the half. The field goal helped the Broncos secure a 51-28 victory over the Titans.

Half-Time Heroes: Many of the longest field goals, including Prater's 64-yarder, have been made just before halftime, underlining the strategic use of these attempts when game dynamics and time management come into play.

The 63-Yard Club

The 63-yard field goal is a significant milestone in the NFL, achieved by only a select few players. This feat requires not only exceptional kicking power but also precision and favorable game conditions. The following players have successfully made a 63-yard field goal during an NFL season:

Sebastian Janikowski

Janikowski achieved this feat while playing for the Oakland Raiders against the Denver Broncos in 2011. Janikowski, a Polish-born player, was known for his powerful kicks throughout his career. His 63-yard field goal tied the NFL record at the time and contributed to the Raiders' 23-20 victory.

Jason Elam

Elam made his 63-yard field goal during a game between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1998. Elam’s successful kick came at the end of the first half and helped the Broncos secure a 37-24 win. His kick was notable for its perfect execution under pressure, cementing his legacy as one of the game's great kickers.

Tom Dempsey

Dempsey was the first player to kick a 63-yard field goal in an NFL game. Despite being born with half a foot, Dempsey achieved this record while playing for the New Orleans Saints against the Detroit Lions in 1970. His record-breaking field goal, which secured a 19-17 victory for the Saints, stood unbroken for 43 years.

David Akers

Akers matched the 63-yard record while playing for the San Francisco 49ers against the Green Bay Packers in 2012. Akers' field goal bounced off the crossbar and over, tying the game at 6-6. This dramatic kick showcased Akers' resilience and accuracy, leaving a memorable mark in the 49ers' history.

Graham Gano

Gano made his 63-yard field goal in a game between the Carolina Panthers and the New York Giants in 2018. Gano’s game-winning kick, which came with just seconds left on the clock, secured a 33-31 victory for the Panthers. His clutch performance under immense pressure highlighted his skill and nerve.

Brett Maher

Maher achieved the 63-yard milestone while playing for the Dallas Cowboys against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019. Maher’s game-winning field goal, the longest in Cowboys' history, helped his team to a 37-10 win. This kick not only demonstrated Maher's powerful leg but also his ability to perform in critical moments.

Historic Milestone: Maher is the only kicker in the NFL to make three field goals of 60 yards or more in his career, showcasing exceptional consistency and range in long-distance kicking.

The 62-Yard Club

Hitting a 62-yard field goal in the NFL is a remarkable feat that few kickers have achieved, showcasing incredible strength and accuracy. This elite club includes some of the most talented legs in NFL history:

Harrison Butker

Butker joined this elite group in a game for the Kansas City Chiefs against the Denver Broncos in October 2020. His 62-yard field goal not only demonstrated his powerful leg but also played a crucial role in the Chiefs' 43-16 victory.

Stephen Gostkowski

Gostkowski's 62-yarder came while playing for the New England Patriots in a 2017 game against the Oakland Raiders, held in Mexico City's high altitude. The conditions were ideal for long-distance kicks, and Gostkowski capitalized on this, helping the Patriots to a 33-8 win.

Matt Bryant

Bryant's 62-yard game-winning field goal was made in a 2006 game against Philadelphia. With mere seconds left on the clock, Bryant's kick sailed through the uprights, securing a 23-21 victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This kick was one of the most memorable moments in the Buccaneers' history.

Who Held the Record Before the Current Holder?

Before the current record was set, the title for the longest field goal in NFL history was held by several players. The progression of the record over time reflects the evolution of the game and the increasing skill of its players.

In the early days of the NFL, field goals were not as prevalent or as long as they are today. The first recorded field goal in the NFL was made by George “Peggy” Parratt of the Massillon Tigers in 1903, measuring a modest 45 yards.

The record for the longest field goals in NFL history started to increase significantly in the 1950s. In 1953, Bert Rechichar of the Baltimore Colts set a new record with a 56-yard field goal. This record stood for 17 years until it was broken by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints in 1970.

Dempsey, who was born without toes on his right foot, kicked a 63-yard field goal using a modified shoe. This remarkable feat set a record that would stand for over four decades.

In 2013, Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos broke Dempsey’s long-standing record by one yard, kicking a 64-yard field goal. The table below shows a brief timeline of the progression of the record:



Football Team

Field Goal Distance


George “Peggy” Parratt

Massillon Tigers

45 yards


Bert Rechichar

Baltimore Colts

56 yards


Tom Dempsey

New Orleans Saints

63 yards


Matt Prater

Denver Broncos

64 yards

Field Goals: A Legacy Beyond Distance

Kicking a field goal in the NFL requires precision, strength, and a cool head, especially when it comes to setting records. The longest field goals in NFL history are not just about distance but the athletes who made them, their technique, and the conditions under which these kicks were made.

Their stories go beyond just setting records; they reflect the relentless pursuit of excellence and the constant pushing of limits in the sport. Each kick has not only secured a place in NFL history but also inspired future generations to aim even further.

The evolving record is a testament to the game's growth and the ever-increasing standards of performance and skill in professional football.

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