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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Look At Matt Prater's Record Breaking Longest Field Goal And Other Kicks of 60+ Yards

                                                                               (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)                              

     This past weekend Matt Prater, placekicker for the Denver Broncos, broke 43 year old record (that had been tied three others times after the original record) for the longest Field Goal (FG) in NFL history of 64 yards! (breaking the old record of 63 yds.) Lets take a look at some of the longest field goals in NFL history and the kickers who have placed themselves in the record books by doing so!

*Note* Criteria is Field Goals of at LEAST 60 yards!

     Greg Zuerlin (St. Louis Rams)-  Zuerlin had already made a 58 yard FG prior to his 60 yarder. His two kicks were the difference in the St. Louis Rams 19-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks! (Date: September 30, 2012)


     Dan Carpenter (Miami Dolphins)- Prior to hitting his 60 yard FG as time expired in the first half, Carpenter had a FG from 41 yards that was blocked. (Date: December 5, 2010)

     Rob Bironas (Tennessee Titans) The Tennessee Titans were facing the Indianapolis Colts on December 3, 2006. Indianapolis at one point was up 14-0, but the Titans mounted a comeback and Bironas hit the 60 yarder with just a few seconds left on the game clock. Indianapolis would fail to score on the kickoff return as the Titans would go on to win 20-17
 (This was the only video I could currently find of Bironas' kick)

     Morten Andersen (New Orleans Saints) I could not find a video, but I did find an article the week after Andersen hit his 60 yard FG in a game against the Chicago Bears. In it then record holder Tom Dempsey and Andersen discuss Morten's kick which became tied for the then 2nd longest FG in NFL history with Steve Cox (Who is next on our list)!

     Steve Cox (Cleveland Browns)- Cleveland sports always have had it rough. Even though the Cleveland Browns would lose 12-9 in their matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on October 21, 1984, Steve Cox made history by hitting a 60 yard FG, which at that time was the second longest in NFL History!

     Jay Feely (Arizona Cardinals)- Jay Feely hit a 61 yard FG to tie the game against the Buffalo Bills. In an ironic twist of fate, he would miss a 38 yarder that would have won the game for the Arizona Cardinals! The Bills won go on to win 19-16 in OT!
     Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland Raiders) Sebastian Janikowski is the only player on this list with two FG's of 60 yards or more. First on December 27, 2009 against the Cleveland Browns, Janikowski hit a 61 yarder

     Then on September 12, 2011 during a game against the Denver Broncos, Janikowski tied the NFL Record by hitting a 63 yarder! The Raiders would go on to win the game 23-20.
*Note: In the video it erroneously states that Janikowski prior to the kick, had already had two career FG's of 60 or more yards.

     Matt Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)- The Philadelphia Eagles scored a go ahead TD that put them up 21-20 with just 33 seconds left on the game clock. The Buccaneers ran four quick plays to set up Matt Bryant out from 62 yards. Bryant's kick would give Tampa Bay the win as then Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb and teammates looked on in shock!

     David Akers (San Francisco 49ers)-   David Akers literally gave all that he had when he tied the NFL all time record for longest field goal as it bounced off the crossbar and over the plane as time expired in the first half against the Green Bay Packers (Date: September 9, 2012)

     Jason Elam (Denver Broncos)- The first man to tie Tom Dempsey's original record, Jason Elam hit a 63 yard FG as time expired in the 1st half against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Date: October 25, 1998)

     Tom Dempsey (New Orleans Saints)- The first man to ever hit a FG over 60 yards or more, Tom Dempsey, who was born without a half part of his kicking foot, hit a 63 yard FG as time expired to give the Saints a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions! (Date: November 8, 1970

     Matt Prater (Denver Broncos)- The man that inspired this article, Matt Prater! In the closing seconds of the 1st half Denver opted for Prater to attempt a 64 yard FG. Prater drilled it with plenty of leg to spare and set a new record for longest FG in NFL History. The Broncos went on to win in a 51-28 landslide over the Tennessee Titans, but Matt Prater stole the show on this day! (Date: December 8, 2013)
Many may forget or simply even not know that Ola Kimrin back in 2002 during a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks while playing for the Denver Broncos, hit a 65 yard Field Goal! Ironically he ended up getting cut at the end of preseason in favor of Jason Elam. Kimrin could never find a steady gig in the NFL, going from Dallas, Washington, and Tennessee only to eventually be released each time. Washington did call him back once to fill in for John Hall (who had beaten Kimrin out as starting placekicker for the 2004 season) and during his time he went 6 of 10 on FG's and made all 6 extra points. Hall would be cut though and eventually would retire altogether from the NFL in August of 2006.


     Here is an article I just found from two years ago with Tom Dempsey, and the other record holders at the time for longest field goal stated and believed the record would be eventually broken. And how right they were!

Justin Tucker 
         Justin Tucker hit a game winning 61 yard FG as time against the Detroit Lions on 12-16-13 (Justin Tucker scored all of Baltimore's points in the Ravens 18-16 win over the Lions as he went 6 for 6 on FG's, including the 61 yard game winner!)

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