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10 longest field goals in NFL history

Andrew Buller-Russ
Longest field goal in NFL history, Justin Tucker
Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The 2021 NFL season saw Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker make history as he kicked the longest field goal in NFL history to keep the Detroit Lions winless for another week.

Tucker’s kick broke the previous field-goal record set in 2013, but there have been several 60-plus yard kicks in the league’s history.

In reverse order, here are the longest FGs in NFL history. And swipe down to the bottom for a bonus – the longest college football field goal and the longest field goal in playoff history.

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10. Stephen Gostkowski, three others have sunk 62-yard kicks

There are a total of five 62-yard kicks that have been made in NFL history. Brett Maher has two of them, he’s also made a 63-yard kick in his career. Most recently, Matt Prater hit a 62-yard FG in Week 2 of the 2021 season. Stephen Gostkowski’s 62-yard field goal is also notable, being that it came at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, which is 7,280 feet above sea level.

9. Matt Bryant launches 62-yard moonshot

Though he played for five different teams throughout his career, Matt Bryant will never forget the time he nailed a 62-yard game-winning kick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006. Although it looked to be about a mile away as he lined up, Bryant put just the right amount of mustard on the ball to send it through the uprights.

8. Dallas Cowboys’ Brett Maher drills 63-yard FG at Jerry World

Playing their NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys lined up just before halftime to launch a 63-yard bomb from Brett Maher. The NBC broadcast revealed the kick actually would have been good from 66 yards at AT&T Stadium, which would have been the longest field goal in NFL history. While many other of the other longest field goals have come at Mile High, this one occurred indoors at Jerry World, and it even provides hope for a longer kick someday, being that it would have gone through at a longer distance.

7. Graham Gano’s 63-yard winner sends Giants home with an L

Graham Gano may be making kicks for the New York Giants these days, but once upon a time, not so long ago, he upset their fans in dramatic fashion. With the wind gusting to the east at roughly six miles per hour, Gano lined up for a 63-yard boot with just one second on the clock. Once the ball took flight, it takes a wicked curve, but only enough to land in the corner pocket of the kicking net. It was a thing of beauty.

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6. David Akers nails improbable 63-yard shot off crossbars at Lambeau

David Akers made a lot of fantastic kicks in his 16-year NFL career, but none were longer than his 63-yard bounce off the Lambeau Field crossbars in 2012. The San Francisco 49ers would go on to lose in the Super Bowl at the end of the season, but this kick in Week 1 was a great way to start the year for the lefty kicker.

5. Sebastian Janikowski makes good on first-round selection

The only kicker to ever be taken in the first round of an NFL Draft, Sebastian “Seabass” Janikowski was built differently. Literally. The 6-foot-1 inch, 260-pound Polish native knew how to put some oomph on a ball. While he only made one Pro Bowl in his 18-year career, Seabass left a lasting impression. Perhaps the left-footed special teams savant’s most notable kick was his 63-yard smash at Mile High in 2011.

4. Jason Elam’s 63-yard blast was the first to tie long-held record

Jason Elam was a great NFL kicker who made three Pro Bowls and is a two-time Super Bowl champion. Playing nearly his entire 17-year career with the Denver Broncos, he had several opportunities to make history. On October 25, 1998, Elam did just that, hitting a 63-yard kick at Mile High Stadium, 5,200 feet above sea level. It was the first kick to tie Tom Dempsey’s long-held record.

3. Tom Dempsey’s 63-yard boot held record for 43 years

Fittingly landing at No. 3, there are three very notable factors that separate what Tom Dempsey did back in 1970 from the rest of the pack.

First, Dempsey was born without toes on his right foot. Because of this, Dempsey wore a custom-built flat-front kicking boot that is now located in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Nowadays there’s a Tom Dempsey rule in place ensuring any shoe worn by a player with an artificial limb must have a kicking surface resembling a normal kicking shoe.

Second, Dempsey’s kicking approach is completely different than anything you’ll see in American football today. Back then, it was more common for kickers to line up a few steps directly behind the ball, instead of the methods used today where they approach the ball from an angle.

The final obvious difference is the goalposts. In 1974, the NFL moved the goalposts from being smack dab in the middle of the end zone entrance to being behind the scoring area, out of the field of play.

As far as whether Dempsey held any sort of competitive advantage on the game-winning kick thanks to his custom shoe, he doesn’t buy into such theories. Neither did ESPN’s Sport Science, who conducted studies on the matter years ago. Dempsey’s make remains an incredible feat, and possibly the greatest kick of all time.

2. Matt Prater’s 64-yarder comes up short in quest for NFL’s longest field goal

On December 8, 2013, kicker Matt Prater had one of his finest days. As a member of the Broncos at the time, Prater was taking on the Tennessee Titans in Denver at Mile High. Just before halftime, Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning got the Broncos in Prater’s scoring position, which on this historic day, was at Tennessee’s 46-yard line.

Of course, kicking in the altitude where the air is thin will help a football sail to new heights, but it shouldn’t take away from Prater’s accomplishment of what once was the all-time field goal record. After all, the Broncos play at least eight games at home each season, which gives kickers a chance to break the rule any time they please. That is if they’ve got the leg.

Prater’s kick broke a record held for 43 years, but it’s no longer the longest FG in NFL history.

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1. Justin Tucker’s 66-yard FG kick makes history for longest NFL field goal

A tough 0-2 start for the 2021 Detroit Lions got even tougher when Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker connected on a 66-yard field goal kick as time expired for the win. Tucker’s kick set a new record for the longest field goal in NFL history.

There’s a good chance Tucker’s kick remains as the NFL field goal record for a number of years. Many have tried, none have come close. Thanks to Tucker, now the next time someone asks, “What’s the longest field goal in NFL history?”, many football fans will have an answer.

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The longest college football field goal ever

Although all NFL kicks are spectacular, they still don’t match the longest college field goal, set by Abilene Christian’s Ove Johansson in 1976 of a whopping 69 yards.

Longest field goal in playoff history

NFL: New York Giants at Washington Football Team
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Graham Gano, who already owns a piece of history with one of the longest field goals ever, is also a part of the playoff record books. Kicking for the Carolina Panthers in 2017, Gano took the field before halftime against the New Orleans Saints. Before time expired, Gano drilled a 58-yard kick to tie the record for the longest field goal in postseason history.

It tied Miami Dolphins kicker Pete Stoyanovich, who hit a 58-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs. Just behind Gano and Stoyanovich, are three kickers (Mike Nugent, Wil Lutz, Greg Zuerlein) who have hit 57-yard field goals in the NFL playoffs.

As for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history, the record belongs to Steve Christie. In Super Bowl XXVIII, Christie made a 54-yard field goal.