The National Football League (NFL) is the highest level of professional American football. Points are scored in a number of ways including touchdown (6 points) and the resulting extra point (1 point) or conversion (2 points), field goal (3 points) and safety (2 points). A field goal occurs during regular play and is usually taken via a place kick, although the rarely used drop kick is still permitted. To be successful and score points the field goal must be kicked between the upright posts and over the crossbar. Let’s find out who holds the record for the longest successful field goal of all time.
The longest successful field goal
The longest field goal ever made in the NFL is 63 yards and this record is currently shared by Tom Dempsey from the New Orleans Saints (1970), Jason Elam from the Denver Broncos (1998) and Sebastian Janikowski from the Oakland Raiders (2011).
It is believed the longest field goal kicked with a drop kick was 55 yards by Paddy Driscoll in 1924, but this was never verified.
Did you know?
Dempsey’s record is impressive not only because it won his team the game, but because he was born without toes on his right foot. He wore a modified shoe for kicking (see below) and although it was found to offer no advantage the NFL outlawed shoes of irregular shape for kicking in 1977.
In a preseason game featuring the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks in 2002 kicker Ola Kimrin successfully made a 65 yard field goal!
Prior to the 63 yard field goal kicked by Dempsey the record was 56 yards set by Bert Rechichar (1953).
The longest ever field goal attempt is 76 yards by Sebastian Janikowski, but it was unsuccessful.