Field goal (football): Wikis

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A field goal in U.S. football and Canadian football is a goal that may be scored during general play ("from the field").

Execution of a field goal.

A field goal may be scored by a placekick or the now very rare drop kick to the face. The ball must pass "through the uprights", that is, over a crossbar that is 10 feet off the ground and between upright posts that are 18 feet 6 inches (5.64 m) apart, to count.

Contents

Strategy

Because a field goal is worth only three points, while a touchdown scores at least six (usually seven with the extra point), teams will generally only attempt a field goal in the following situations:

  • It is fourth down (third down in Canadian rules), especially if the offense is more than a yard or two from a new first down and generally within the opponent's 35-yard line
  • In the first half, there is only enough time remaining to execute one more play
  • In the second half, there is only enough time remaining to execute one more play, and the team on offense needs three points to win or tie (four points in a few leagues given special circumstances)
  • The game is in overtime, and scoring any points will end the game

Except in desperate situations, a team will generally attempt a field goal only when keeping a drive alive is unlikely, and their kicker has a significant chance of success, as a missed field goal results in a turnover at the spot of the kick (in the NFL) or at the line of scrimmage (in the NCAA). In high school, where a field goal that lands short is treated as a punt, most teams still opt not to attempt field goals from very long range, since field goal formations are not conducive to covering punts. Even under ideal conditions, the best kickers in the NFL have difficulty making kicks longer than 50 yards consistently (the NFL record is 63 yards and the CFL record, 62 yards). If a team chooses not to attempt a field goal on fourth down (third in Canada), it can punt to the other team. A punt cannot score any points in American football (though it can result in a single in Canadian football), but it may push the other team back toward its own end.

Jason Elam shares the record with Tom Dempsey for the longest kick in NFL history with a 63 yard field goal. High school, college and most professional football leagues only offer a three-point field goal; however, some professional leagues have encouraged more rare kicks through four-point field goals. NFL Europe encouraged long field goals of 50 yards or more by making those worth four points instead of three (much like Australian rules' Super Goal or basketball's three-point line). Similarly, the sport of arena football sought (unsuccessfully) to repopularize the drop kick by making that worth four points; it failed, since only one kicker (Brian Mitchell) was able to do it with any semblance of proficiency. (In six-man football, where there is no offensive line, all field goals are worth four points instead of the usual three.)

How field goals are kicked

Texas A&M attempts to kick a field goal against The Citadel in 2006.

When a team decides to attempt a field goal, it will generally line up in a very tight formation, with all but two players lined up along or near the line of scrimmage: the placekicker and the holder. The holder is usually the team's punter or backup quarterback. Instead of the regular center, a team may have a dedicated long snapper trained especially to snap the ball on placekick attempts and punts.

The defense will likewise line up all or nearly all of its players near the line of scrimmage to try to block the kick. The defense can try to block the kick only at the line; it cannot attempt to bat down a field-goal attempt at the uprights like a goalie. If there is a significant likelihood of a miss and the strategic game situation warrants it, the defense may leave one player well behind the line of scrimmage to attempt to return a missed field goal; as with other kicks, a missed field goal can be returned for a yardage gain up to and including a touchdown. The risk in this is that if there is a return attempt, then unless there is a score the defense will take over at the spot where the returner is brought down, which may be a considerably worse position than where they would have taken over had they not attempted a return. Thus, teams will usually attempt a return only towards the end of a half or in a particularly desperate situation. The holder usually lines up 7–8 yards behind the line of scrimmage, with the kicker a few yards behind him. Upon receiving the snap, the holder holds the ball against the ground vertically, with the stitches away from the kicker. The kicker begins his approach during the snap, so the snapper and holder have little margin for error. A split-second mistake can throw everything off.

The measurement of a field goal's distance is from the point where the ball was positioned for the kick by the placekicker to the goalpost. In American football, where the goalpost is in the back of the end zone, the ten yards of the end zone are also added into the distance the line of scrimmage.

Missed and blocked field goals

The San Francisco 49ers block a field goal attempt by Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers on October 12, 2008, which was returned for a touchdown.
The Fresno State Bulldogs block a Texas A&M field goal attempt.

In the NFL, missed field goals attempted from the 20-yard line or closer result in the opposing team taking possession at the 20-yard line. Missed field goals attempted from beyond the 20-yard line result in the opposing team taking possession at the spot of the kick. Until 1994, the opposing team would take position at the line of scrimmage, unless the kick was attempted from inside the 20-yard line.

Prior to the 1974 season, missed field goals resulted in the opposing team gaining possession at the line of scrimmage or the 20-yard line, whichever was closer to the goalpost.

Under NHFS (high school) rules a field goal attempt is no different from any other scrimmage kick (punt, drop kick). If the field goal attempt is no good and becomes dead in the end zone it is a touchback. If the ball becomes dead on the field the defensive team will next put the ball in play from that point. If a field goal is blocked behind the line of scrimmage either team may pick it up and return it until they are ruled down, out of bounds, or score a touchdown.

The opposing team may also catch a missed field goal and attempt to return it. This is only rarely performed in American football, as on average the opposing team would not be able to return the ball to the spot of the kick. However, it is occasionally done, particularly when a very long kick is attempted at the end of the first half. On November 4, 2007, Antonio Cromartie of the San Diego Chargers returned a missed field-goal from Ryan Longwell (Minnesota Vikings) for 109 (109.9 actually) yards and a touchdown, the longest play in NFL history, and the longest play possible under current NFL scoring rules (yards gained are normally rounded down and 110 yards would be out-of-bounds). (Four of the six longest plays in NFL history are returns of missed field goals for touchdowns.) One reason for returning missed field goals is the kicking team typically consists of mostly linemen, unlike on punts where a dedicated cover team is used. Thus a well timed return can easily lead to a touchdown for the returner.

In the NCAA, the opposing team takes possession at the line of scrimmage rather than at the spot of the kick.

In American football, a missed field goal is said to be "no good". If it misses to the kicker's left it may be called "wide left" and conversely "wide right" if it misses to the kicker's right. It may also be described as being "short" if it is aimed correctly but does not have the distance to go through the uprights.

In Canadian football, if the defense does not return a missed field goal out the end zone, or if the missed field goal goes through the end zone, then the kicking team scores a single point. This may occasionally lead to situations at the end of a close game where the team on defense stations their punter behind the goal posts to punt the ball out of the end zone in case of a missed field-goal attempt to preserve a victory or tie. Also, a missed field goal may be played by any onside player on the kicking team, that being the kicker and anyone behind him at the time of the kick. It is risky to have anyone positioned behind the kicker when the ball is being kicked since those player(s) would be unable to help prevent the defending players from blocking the kick; however, on occasion teams might intentionally miss a field goal in hope of recovering the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.

In Canadian football, returning a missed field goal is much more common than in American rules for a few reasons. First, since the goal posts are on the goal line in front of a 20-yard endzone (rather than at the back of a 10-yard endzone), a missed field goal is much less likely to leave the field of play while in the air. Also, returning the ball out of the end zone allows the defense to avoid giving up a single point, which may be crucial in a tight game. Moreover, the wider field of the Canadian game makes the average return longer. However, many CFL coaches judge that conceding a single and taking possession at the 35-yard line to be a better gamble than returning a missed field goal and avoiding a single.

Occasionally (about once in 40 field goal attempts in the NFL[citation needed]), the defense will succeed in blocking a field goal. If a blocked field goal is in or behind the neutral zone, it is treated like a fumble and can be advanced by either team. Beyond the neutral zone, a blocked kick is treated like a punt or missed field goal and can be advanced only by the defense, unless a defensive player fumbles the ball, after which an offensive player can advance it.

Kicking styles

There are several styles kickers have used for kicking field goals over the years. The soccer style is the most widely used kicking style in football today.

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Soccer style

"Soccer style" gets its name from the game of soccer and the manner in which soccer players kick a ball. A soccer style field goal kicker approaches the ball from an angle and kicks the ball with the instep of his foot. Typically a kicker will take three steps straight back and two side steps to the left (if right footed). This will put them in the proper position for approaching the ball. Some kickers, such as Paul Edinger, start farther to the side and facing away from the line, then proceed to "swing" their body around, almost in a semicircle motion, kicking the ball in with the same final motion.

Soccer style is almost universally used in American and Canadian football today. In field goal and extra point attempts, the ball is snapped to a holder lined up about seven yards from the line of scrimmage.

The distance of the holder behind the line of scrimmage is not mandated by any rule, but rather has developed by trial and error over time as the optimal distance to allow the center, holder and kicker to combine to get the kick off, and force defenders to run a greater distance in attempts to block the kick.

When the holder sets up closer than seven yards to the line of scrimmage (thus making the kick itself shorter and thus easier to make), blocked kicks increase since defenders have a shorter distance to cover and the kick can often be blocked before it achieves sufficient height. When holders set up farther than seven yards behind the line, blocks become less frequent, but the kick itself becomes longer and thus accuracy declines. The accuracy of the snap to the holder also declines, sometimes leading to blocked kicks if the holder cannot handle it cleanly.

Popularized by Pete Gogolak, soccer-style kicking has greatly improved placekickers' accuracy. Hall of Fame kicker Lou "The Toe" Groza made only 58% of his field-goal attempts; today's best kickers make nearly 80% of their attempts.

Straight-ahead style

In the "straight-ahead" or "straight-on" style, the kicker takes several steps back and kicks the ball with the toe of his shoe. This style was widely used until the soccer style took over beginning in the early 1960s.

Unlike the soccer-style, the straight-ahead style requires the use of a special shoe that has a flattened toe and is reinforced to be extremely rigid. Additionally, some kickers wore a kicking shoe that was one or even two sizes smaller than normal. Hall of Famer George Blanda, a straight-ahead kicker who also played quarterback, wore a modified shoe that allowed him to play both positions without changing shoes. However, many modern kickers (the "soccer-style" term has all but disappeared) use a shoe that features a smooth contact surface.

Mark Moseley was the last full-time straight-ahead place kicker in the NFL, retiring after the 1986 season. Moseley was also among the best kickers of any style, having been the only NFL kicker to ever be named league MVP. Steve Cox kicked the last straight-ahead field goal in the NFL in 1987. Cox was a punter who also kicked off and occasionally kicked long field goals.

Edmonton Eskimos place kicker Dave Cutler was among the last straight-ahead kickers in the CFL. Despite the widespread adoption of the instep kick since his retirement in 1984, Cutler remains one of the most successful kickers in league history. Current Calgary Stampeders punter Burke Dales also on rare occasions will kick long field goals or kick-offs. When he does so, he uses the straight-ahead style.

While having disappeared almost entirely from professional and major-college football, the straight-on style is still seen in high school, semi-pro, amateur, and occasionally small-college football.

Drop kick

A drop kick is made when the kicker drops the ball and then kicks it when it bounces off the ground. This kick was popular in the early 1900s. However, the modern American football is more pointed on both ends, making the bounce less reliable. The main advantages of the drop kick are that 1) the kicking team gains an additional blocker and 2) there is one less person (the holder) who has to do their job perfectly to succeed. Because the advantage of an extra blocker is minimal and professional teams practice their special teams so frequently (meaning the holds are usually good), drop kicks are rarely seen because only straight-on kickers can do it for the most part.

The last successful drop kick in the NFL was made on January 1, 2006, by New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie for an extra point. It was the first time in 64 years that a drop kick was converted for an extra point in the NFL, and the only drop kick on record at any level to be successfully executed "soccer style."

The last successful drop-kick extra point in the NCAA was by Aaron Fitzgerald of the University of LaVerne on November 10, 1990, against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. [1]

History

In the early days of football, kicking was highly emphasized.

  • In 1883 the scoring system was devised and field goals counted 5 points while touchdowns and conversions counted 3 each.
  • In 1897 the touchdown was raised to 5 points while the conversion was lowered to 1 point.
  • The field goal was changed to 4 points in 1904 and then to the modern 3 points in 1909.
  • The touchdown was changed to 6 points in 1912 (in American football; the Canadian game did not change this until 1956).
  • In 1924 the conversion was spotted at the 3-yard line.
  • In 1925–1928 it was moved to the 5-yard line.
  • In 1929 it was moved to the 2-yard line.
  • Finally, in 1968 it was moved back to the 3-yard line.
  • The goalposts were originally located on the goal line; this led to many injuries and sometimes interfered with play, and the NCAA moved the goal posts to the rear of the end zone in 1927. The NFL (still following NCAA rules at the time) followed suit, but moved the posts back to the goal line in 1932, where they remained until 1974. The Canadian game still has posts on the goal line.
  • In 1959 the NCAA goalposts were widened to 23 feet 4 inches, the standard width for high school posts today.
  • In 1988 the NCAA banned the kicking tee, requiring kicks from the ground.
  • In 1991 the college goalposts were reduced in width to 18 feet 6 inches, the width of NFL goal posts. In 1991 and 1992, this meant severe angles for short field goal attempts, since the hashmarks were still located 53 feet 4 inches apart. In 1993, the NCAA narrowed the distance between the hashmarks to 40 feet (which was the width of hashmarks in the NFL until 1972, when they were narrowed to 18 feet 6 inches).
  • Like the collegiate goalposts, the NFL goal posts were located on the goal line. They were moved to the rear of the end zone in 1974, as a result of the narrowed hashmark distance of 1972, which had made for easier field-goal angles.
  • In 1967, the NFL adopted the "slingshot" goalpost, with a single post curving to support the crossbar. The NCAA later adopted the same rule, but later allowed the use of "offset" goalposts, with two posts rather than one. Three schools in Division I-A currently use two posts instead of one for goalposts in their stadiums: Florida State, LSU, and Washington State. A special exemption was allowed by the NFL for the New Orleans Saints to use the offset goalposts during their 2005 season, when they used LSU's stadium for home games in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Field-goal records

Longest field goals

National Football League

Long Kicker Team Result Opposition Date Notes
63 yards Tom Dempsey New Orleans Saints 19-17 Detroit Lions November 8, 1970
63 yards Jason Elam Denver Broncos 37-24 Jacksonville Jaguars October 25, 1998
62 yards Matt Bryant Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-21 Philadelphia Eagles October 22, 2006
61 yards Sebastian Janikowski Oakland Raiders 9-23 Cleveland Browns December 27, 2009
60 yards Rob Bironas Tennessee Titans 20-17 Indianapolis Colts December 3, 2006
60 yards Morten Andersen New Orleans Saints 17-20 Chicago Bears October 27, 1991
60 yards Steve Cox Cleveland Browns 9-12 Cincinnati Bengals October 21, 1984

Canadian Football League

Arena Football League

Collegiate

  • 69 yards: Ove Johansson, Abilene Christian (W 17–0) v East Texas State, October 16, 1976 (2-inch tee) Shotwell Stadium, Abilene. NAIA.
  • 67 yards: Russell Erxleben, Texas (W 72–15) v Rice, October 1, 1977 (2-inch tee)
  • 67 yards: Steve Little, Arkansas (L 9–13) v Texas, October 15, 1977 (2-inch tee)
  • 67 yards: Joe Williams, Wichita State (W 33–7) v Southern Illinois, October 21, 1978 (2-inch tee)
  • 67 yards: Tom Odle, Fort Hays State (W 22–14) v Washburn, November 5, 1988 (2-inch tee), NCAA Division II.
  • 67 yards: Mike Billengas, Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Mexico City ([Mexico City, Mexico]) (L 22–14) v UVM (MEX), July 27, 2006[citation needed]
  • 65 yards: John Triplett Haxall, Princeton (L 1g,1s-2g,2t,1s) v Yale, November 30, 1882 (w/out tee) The Polo Grounds, 5th Avenue at 110th Street, New York City.[2]
  • 65 yards: J.P. Ross, Birmingham A.C. (W 5–4) v Alabama, November 12, 1892 (drop-kick)
  • 65 yards: Tony Franklin, Texas A&M (W 24–0) v Baylor, October 16, 1976 (2-inch tee) (after Johansson's 69–yarder)
  • 65 yards: Martin Gramatica, Kansas State (W 73–7) v Northern Illinois September 12, 1998 (longest in NCAA history without a tee)
  • 64 yards: Jose Martinez, UTEP (W 58–13) v UCF, September 27, 2008
  • 64 yards: Tony Franklin, Texas A&M (W 24–0) v Baylor, October 16, 1976 (2-inch tee) (before Johansson's 69–yarder)
  • 64 yards: Russell Erxleben, Texas (W 13–6) v Oklahoma (2-inch tee) October 8, 1977
  • 63 yards: Morten Andersen, Michigan State, at Ohio State, September 19, 1981
  • 63 yards: Joe Duren, Arkansas State (W 22–20) v McNeese State, November 23, 1974 (2-inch tee) NCAA Division II
  • 63 yards: Clark Kemble, Colorado State vs Arizona, November 15, 1975
  • 63 yards: Scott Roper, Arkansas State (W 27–20) v North Texas State, November 7, 1987 (2-inch tee) NCAA Division 1-AA[3]
  • 63 yards: Tim Foley, Ga. Southern (Div. I-AA) vs. James Madison, Nov. 7, 1987 (2 inch Tee)
  • 63 yards: Bill Gramática, South Florida v. Austin Peay, November 18, 2000 (longest field goal at sea level w/o tee in NCAA history)
  • 62 yards: Iseed Khoury, North Texas (W 47-14) v. Richmond Oct 1, 1977
  • 62 yards: Jason Hanson, Washington State University vs. University of Nevada at Las Vegas, September 28, 1991 (w/o tee)
  • 62 yards: Derek Doerfler, Baker University vs. William Jewell College, 2007
  • 61 yards: Dan Eichloff, University of Kansas vs. Ball State, 1992
  • 61 yards: Mark Porter, Kansas State Wildcats vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers, October 22, 1988
  • 61 yards: Ralf Mojsiejenko, Michigan State, at Illinois, September 11, 1982
  • 61 yards: Bill Shear, Cortland State (NY) vs. Hobart, 1966. 1st 60+ yard field goal at any level of organized football
  • 61 yards: Steve Little, Arkansas (L 9–3) v Tulsa, September 25, 1976 (2-inch tee)
  • 60 yards: Bill McClard, Arkansas (W 36–3) v SMU, November 14, 1970 (2-inch tee)
  • 60 yards: Russell Erxleben, Texas (W 26–0) v Texas Tech October 29, 1977
  • 60 yards: Kevin Butler, Georgia (W 26–23) v. Clemson 1984
  • 60 yards: John Hall, Wisconsin (W 34-27) v. Minnesota November 11, 1995
  • 60 yards: Pete Garces, Idaho State v Cal State Northridge, 1998
  • 60 yards: Mason Crosby, Colorado v Iowa State, 2004
  • 60 yards: Gary Cismesia, Florida State University (L 12–45) vs. University of Florida, 2007
  • 59 yards: Carson Wiggs, Purdue (W 52-31) v Toledo, September 5, 2009
  • 59 yards: Jan Stenerud, Montana State v Montana, 1965
  • 59 yards: Joe Petrone, Idaho State (W 53–32)v Portland state, 1968
  • 59 yards: Ralf Mojsiejenko, Michigan State, at Purdue, October 1, 1983
  • 59 yards: Cloyce Hinton, Ole Miss v Georgia, October 11, 1969
  • 59 yards: Jared Siegel, Oregon v UCLA , 2002
  • 58 yards: Bill Sinovic, Kansas State v. Brigham Young September 11, 1976
  • 58 yards: Alexis Serna, Oregon State (L 41-13) v. California September 30, 2006
  • 58 yards: Jon Bacon, University of Cincinnati (T 17–17) @ Miami, Ohio 1994
  • 58 yards: Mason Crosby, Colorado (L 23–3) @ Miami, 2005
  • 58 yards: Óscar Silva Reta, UANL v UNAM (W 37–34), 2009. This was the winner field goal.[4]
  • 57 yards: Morten Andersen, Michigan State, at Michigan, October 1, 1980
  • 57 yards: Gene Branum, Austin College (T 24–24) v Concordia College, December 12, 81 (NAIA Division II National Championship Game)
  • 57 yards: Ryan Harrison, Air Force (W 20–17) v Texas Christian, September 13, 2007
  • 57 yards: Derek Doerfler, Baker University vs. Culver-Stockton College, 2007
  • 57 yards: Alex Henery #90, Nebraska Cornhuskers (W 40-31) vs. Colorado Buffaloes November 28, 2008
  • 57 yards: Jacob Branstetter #14, Kansas Jayhawks vs Oklahoma Sooners October 24, 2009
  • 57 yards: Philip Welch #18, Wisconsin Badgers v Fresno State Bulldogs, September 12, 2009
  • 56 yards: Caleb Sturgis #19 Florida Gators W(41-17) v Georgia Bulldogs, October 31, 2009

Tony Franklin is the only kicker with 2 field goals over 60 yards in the same game. Russell Erxleben kicked 3 field goals over 60 yards in 1977, an NCAA record.

Scott Lewis attempted the longest field goal in college football history, 72 yards, Arizona State vs USC, October 4, 1980.

Kevin Butler attempted a 72 yard field goal, Georgia vs. Florida State, 1984 Citrus Bowl.

High school

  • 68 yards: Dirk Borgognone, Reno High School (NV) v Sparks (NV), September 27, 1985[5]
  • 67 yards: Rusty Curry, Duluth High School (Duluth, GA) (W 13—6) v Norcross High School (Norcross, GA), 1999[6]
  • 67 yards: Kip Smith, Broomfield Legacy High School (Colorado) (W 29-7) v Mountain Range High School (Colorado), September 2009[7]
  • 64 yards: Karl Selander, Chatard High School(IN)v Roncalli High School(IN) 1985

Famous field goals and missed attempts

  • November 8, 1970: Tom Dempsey, 63 yards New Orleans Saints (W 19–17) vs Detroit Lions with only 2 seconds left to give the Saints a much-needed win. Dempsey kicked the ball in the straight-ahead fashion. This kick is famous as the longest regular-season NFL kick in history and because Dempsey was born with a right club foot and no toes (this was his kicking foot).
  • January 17, 1971: Rookie kicker Jim O'Brien of the Baltimore Colts kicked a 32-yard field goal with 9 seconds remaining in Super Bowl V for the deciding margin in the Colts' 16–13 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
  • October 16, 1976: Tony Franklin kicked two 60+ yard field goals in one game. His first one of 64 yards broke the collegiate record. Later in the game he kicked a 65 yard field goal. On the same day however, Ove Johansson kicked a 69 yard field goal to break Franklin's record.
  • December 12, 1982: With the score tied 0–0 late in the fourth quarter in a blinding snowstorm in Foxborough and the ball deep in Miami Dolphins territory, the New England Patriots called a timeout and brought a snowplow on the field to clear a lane for kicker John Smith. The kick was good, and the Patriots held on for a 3–0 lead in what has been dubbed the "Snowplow Game.' The NFL has since banned this practice, which was not addressed in the rule book at the time.
  • November 30, 1985: Van Tiffin, 52 yards Alabama Crimson Tide (W 25–23) vs Auburn Tigers on the final play of the Iron Bowl Article
  • January 27, 1991: Scott Norwood misses 47 yards Buffalo Bills (L 20–19) vs New York Giants in the final seconds of Super Bowl XXV, allowing Giants to win, famously missing wide right. Article
  • November 16, 1991: This missed field goal is the first of many from the Miami – Florida State rivalry. This game featured #1 Florida State versus #2 Miami Hurricanes. Gerry Thomas, Florida State kicker, missed the field goal with less than a minute left. This miss lead to the Miami win, and the 'Canes went on to win the National Championship. In fact, the missed field goal in this game is so well known that the game is commonly referred to by reference to it ("Wide Right I"). A similar game-ending situation would present itself in the same match up in the following year ("Wide Right II").
  • November 25, 1993: On a rare Thanksgiving Day snowstorm in Dallas, the Miami Dolphins' Pete Stoyanovich attempted a 41 yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining, and the Dolphins down 13-14 versus the Dallas Cowboys. The field goal was blocked, but Dallas' defensive tackle Leon Lett touched the ball after it hit the ground, and Miami regained possession. Stoyanovich kicked again, this time good. Dolphins, W, 16-14.
  • October 25, 1998: Jason Elam, 63 yards Denver Broncos (W 37–24) vs Jacksonville Jaguars at the end of the first half. This tied Dempsey's record. Elam used the soccer-style kick.
  • January 17, 1999: After a perfect regular season with the Minnesota Vikings of 35-for-35 field goals and 59-for-59 points-after-touchdown, kicker Gary Anderson missed a potential game-winning field goal with less than two minutes to go in the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons which the Vikings led at the time, 27–20. After the miss, the Falcons drove 71 yards and tied the score on a Chris Chandler to Terence Mathis touchdown, sending the game into sudden-death overtime. Atlanta won 30–27 on a Morten Andersen field goal nearly 12 minutes into the extra period.
  • February 3, 2002: Adam Vinatieri, 48 yards New England Patriots (W 20–17) vs St. Louis Rams final play of Super Bowl XXXVI. Vinatieri was also a part of the famous snow game against the Oakland Raiders in the divisional playoffs where he kicked the winning fieldgoal in a blinding snowstorm
  • November 10, 2002: In a CFL playoff game, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers partially blocked a field goal attempt by B.C. Lions kicker Matt Kellett. Winnipeg's Arland Bruce returned the missed kick 112 yards for a touchdown in a game the Bombers eventually won 30–3.[2] (Readers unfamiliar with Canadian football should note that the CFL field is 110 yards long between the end zones, and each end zone is 20 yards deep, thus allowing for the longer yardage.)
  • January 14, 2006: Mike Vanderjagt missed 46 yards, wide right. Indianapolis Colts ( L 18–21 ) vs Pittsburgh Steelers with 18 seconds remaining in AFC Divisional Playoffs. The NFL would later announce that a botched call earlier in the game should have not gone in favor of the Colts, which led to the field goal. Four days after the miss, Vanderjagt appeared on The Late Show, which is hosted by Indianapolis native and Colts fan David Letterman. In his appearance, he completed a 46-yard field goal on West 53rd Street, outside the Ed Sullivan Theater.
  • June 28, 2007: BC Lions P/K Paul McCallum missed a field goal from 32 yards which was subsequently caught just inside the end line (the far end of the end zone) by Toronto Argonauts KR Bashir Levingston, who then returned the ball the entire length of the field for the longest possible missed field goal return for a touchdown in all of professional football, 129 yards.
  • January 20, 2008: In the NFC Championship game between the New York Giants and the home team, the Green Bay Packers, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed two field goal attempts in the 4th quarter, either of which could have ended the game. One was at 43 yards out with 6:53 left to go in the ballgame, which it sailed wide left. The second was a 36 yard attempt with just 4 seconds left, missing that kick as well. Rookie snapper Jay Alford snapped the ball too high, which gave the football the hook wide left. In overtime however, after Corey Webster intercepted the last pass of quarterback Brett Favre's career with the Packers, Tynes got redemption after kicking a 47 yard field goal with 12:34 in OT. It was the longest field goal ever in Lambeau Field postseason history from a visiting team.
  • September 28, 2008: Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders attempted a 76 yard field goal. It fell short. This was an NFL record for longest field goal attempt.
  • October 24, 2009: In the rivalry game known as the "Third Saturday in October" between Alabama and Tennessee, Alabama was leading 12 to 10 with 4 seconds left to go in the game and Tennessee kicker Daniel Lincoln was set up to kick a 44-yard field goal to win the game. Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody blocked the kick allowing Alabama to win the game and continue their undefeated season. Alabama eventually won the National Championship against Texas. This block is commonly known as the "Rocky Block".

References

External links


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