Who kicked the longest field goal in National Football League (NFL) history?

Who kicked the longest field goal in National Football League (NFL) history?  The first thing to say about the longest field goal, or field goals, in NFL history is that, for reasons that will become obvious, the patron saint of placekickers, if one exists, appears to have it in for the Detroit Lions.

Arguably the most remarkable – and, for 43 years, the longest – field goal in NFL history was kicked by Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints against the Motor City Madmen at Tulhane Stadium, New Orleans on November 8, 1970. His last-gasp 63-yard effort earned the ‘Aints an improbable 19-17 win, but was all the more worthy for the fact he was born without toes on his right foot and wore an extra-wide, flat-fronted kicking shoe; for the record, Dempsey was also an old-fashioned, straight-on placekicker, who approached the ball directly from behind, rather than at an angle.

When Dempsey’s field goal record was finally beaten, it was in the rarified atmosphere of Mile High Stadium, Denver, which didn’t acquire its name by accident. On December 8, 2013, in the closing seconds of the first half, Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater converted a 64-yard effort against the Tennessee Titans to leave the home side just one point behind, at 20-21, at the break. However, the revitalised Broncos outscored the Titans three touchdowns to one in the second half to win the match 51-28.

In a strange case of history repeating itself, the current holder of the record for the longest field goal in NFL history, Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker, also achieved the feat against the Detroit Lions, albeit this time at Ford Field, Detroit. On September 26, 2021, as time expired, Tucker connected with a 66-yard effort, which hit the crossbar and bounced high into the air before falling through the uprights. The final score? Baltimore Ravens 19 Detroit Lions 17, of course.