In the final minutes of the game, a field goal is always the moment that fans look forward to when watching their favorite team. If it were a game-winning goal, it would stir up a grandstand.
Length is not an essential requirement for field goals in the NFL. But a long field goal will make a much stronger impression and sometimes go down in history.
Are you curious about the longest NFL field goal and its creator? If so, let’s explore with Scott Fujita in this article.
What Is A Field Goal In The NFL?
The definition of field goal
In gridiron football, a field goal is synonymous with a scoring objective. Usually, the ball holder will kick the ball over the goal, which means the area between the post and the crossbar.
Drop-kicked field goals were more popular in the past, but place-kicked plans have gradually replaced them. A successful field goal will bring three points for the team to perform, helping to quickly clear or increase the score gap with the opponent.
Depending on their strategy, teams can use a fair-catch kick to score a field goal. But this approach is not expected when they can do a touchdown worth up to six points.
The Longest Field Goal In NFL History: Top 10 List
We’ve heard about powerful kicks of incredible length like the field goal by Nick Rose. It’s an 80-yard field goal, hard to believe.
However, within the framework of the NFL regular season, the record numbers are much more modest. They are “official” numbers and have left a deep impression on fans.
This part will dive deep at the prominent names and their achievements. If you want to have a more intuitive view, check out this video.
10. Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams: 61 Yards (2015)
Standing at number 10th on the list is “Legatron” by St. Louis Rams – Greg Zuerlein. He also has another famous nickname, “Greg the Leg.”
As a rookie, Zuerlein’s track record was impressive. Seven of his thirteen attempts have resulted in field goals of 50 yards or more. Later, he also joined the 60-yard guild.
Greg Zuerlein’s most memorable kick came in his fourth year on the pitch. Although they lost in the final minutes of overtime, Zuerlein’s performance earned the MVP title with four out of five successful throws.
9. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens: 61 Yards (2013)
In Justin Tucker’s case, his powerful kick sealed the team’s victory over the Detroit Lions. For the Ravens fans, this kick means a lot when the time is only 43 seconds left.
Tucker shone like an MVP in that match with a total of 18 points. Justin Tucker’s legs are what every heavy-kicker craves. He was fully capable of kicking from 50 yards in the early years of his career. In addition to the scene of a live game, he also performed a kick from 75 yards.
8. Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals: 61 Yards (2012)
It wasn’t until the 12th year of his career that Jay Feely got a field goal of a lifetime. That goal helped him put his name on the list of the longest field goals in NFL history.
But things didn’t go so smoothly for him after that. Feely lost in the next game after a decisive equalizer against the Buffalo Bills at the University of Phoenix Stadium. He failed in his attempt to score from 38 yards.
In just one day, the audience’s emotions changed like riding a roller coaster, and so did Feely. You may have been a hero before, but in a split second, you’ve become a villain.
7. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders: 61 Yards (2009)
With an illustrious career spanning two decades, it’s not surprising that Sebastian Janikowski’s name appears on the NFL longest field goal list.
The Oakland Raiders picked Janikowski in the first draft in 2000. And they made the right decision.
In a match just two days after Christmas, Sebastian Janikowski shone brightly with three successful field goals. Sadly those were also the Raiders’ only goals against the Cleveland Browns.
6. Matt Bryant, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 62 Yards (2006)
The Buccaneers star kicker – Matt Bryant – took just five seasons to assert his leg strength.
Starting with the New York Giants in 2002, Bryant joined the Buccaneers in 2006 in a fourth transfer. Their partnership was very successful, with a narrow 23-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Bryant’s 62-yard field goal was the deciding factor.
5. David Akers, San Francisco 49ers: 63 Yards (2012)
At the age of 38, most players will show signs of decline in form. For David Akers, it wasn’t a big deal.
In the 2012 season, Akers hit an impressive 63-yard field goal in the 49ers’ opening game. He also excelled in scoring two more goals and helping the team win a decisive victory over the Green Bay Packers.
4. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders: 63 Yards (2011)
At the Mile High Stadium in Denver, Janikowski produced a masterpiece. He is also the only kicker to appear twice in a row on this list.
The 63-yard field goal was a very good opening signal for the Raiders. They immediately overwhelmed the Broncos with a score of 16-3. After a few mistakes, the final result of the match still named the Raiders the winner.
3. Jason Elam, Denver Broncos: 63 Yards (1998)
This 63-yard field goal made a strong impression on the public because it was scarce at that time. Jason Elam, the owner of the goal, was only 28 years old when he made his name in history.
This goal came at the end of the first half and gave the Denver Broncos players a lot of morale. In the end, they won 37-24 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2. Tom Dempsey, New Orleans Saints: 63 Yards (1970)
When performing this kick, perhaps Tom Dempsey himself did not expect that he would go down in history. It is also the oldest field goal on the list. Before that, people had absolutely no concept of field goals with the entire length of the field.
Have you heard of the game-deciding goal concept? This 63-yard throw is a prime example. Dempsey successfully executed it and sealed victory for the Saints.
Dempsey himself and his goal both deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
1. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos: 64 Yards (2013)
Kickers seem to love setting records at the end of the first half. In a cold December game in Denver, Matt Prater set a record with a 64-yard field goal. This goal also puts him at the top of the list of the longest field goals in NFL history.
This goal ignited a fire in the hearts of the Broncos players for them to win 51-28 over the Tennessee Titans.
As we explore the longest field goal ever in the NFL, we’ll see more of the magic than just their length. Sometimes, that goal gives the team the power to win or play a decisive role in determining the outcome.
More than anyone else, the sense of pride a kicker feels when completing a beautiful field goal is incomparable. With the development of skills and the physicality of the next generation of players, we can look forward to more beautiful kicks in the future.