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Who kicked the longest field goal in NFL history? There has been a surprising amount of demand from TBSB users for the answer to this question so we decided to go out and find it. It is now part of our series of articles on major NFL records: we find the modern record, let The Best Sports Blog users know it, and then note previous holders of the record and discuss some modern close runs at it. This record was actually quite difficult to find (buried in a press release from the NFL Hall of Fame) but here it is:
The record for Longest Field Goal in Football History is 63 yards. It is shared between two men: Jason Elam and Tom Dempsey.
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Tom Dempsey kicked the first sixty-three yard field goal in NFL history for the New Orleans Saints in 1970. It was a truly exciting moment since Dempsey's kick came with two seconds left. It seemed impossible but, aided by strong winds, he set it sailing through the uprights and won the game for New Orleans 19-17 over the Detroit Lions. Dempsey's record stood for 28 years until 1998 when young Denver Broncos kicker Jason Elam equaled it with a kick to end a half against the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Elam's kick was not itself as exciting as Dempsey's, it came for a much better team and Elam himself developed into a much better player. In fact, no other player has scored more points for a team than Jason Elam did for the Denver Broncos.
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Looking forward, the longest field goal in NFL history is hardly an unbreakable record. However, while it might be broken someday, it remains unlikely. The average NFL kicker's range does not exceed fifty yards and even exceptional kickers rarely range outside of fifty-five so only a great kicker, in last second circumstances, and making use of prevailing winds would have a chance to break the record and kick the new longest field goal in NFL history.
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