66 Yard Field Goal Sets NFL Record with Incredible Bounce for Win
Most football fans have a love-hate relationship with the kickers that kick for their favorite teams. The placekicker, in particular, has the ability to win or lose the game with a single stroke of his leg. In yesterday's New Orleans Saints versus New England Patriots game, Saints fans found a couple of reasons to not like their kicker. But this is not about the Saints, well not totally about the Saints.
Because oddly enough, the Saints tie into the NFL record field goal that was made yesterday in this way. It was in 1970 when New Orleans asked placekicker Tom Dempsey to secure a win for the team by nailing a 63-yard field goal.
As you can see through the grainy video that was high tech back in 1970, Dempsey's incredible kick just barely cleared the crossbar on the goal post giving the Saints a 19 to 17 victory. It was one of only two games the team would win that year.
But for the longest time that kick was the Saints defining moment and Dempsey's record stood for many years. Flash forward to yesterday and the Detroit Lions are taking on the Baltimore Ravens.
Wait a minute before we go back to yesterday, let's go back to eight years ago. The same two teams. The same kicker only the distance has changed. This one is from 61 yards out.
Okay, now let's fast forward to yesterday and the most recent game between Detroit and Baltimore.
There are three seconds left in the game and the Ravens are trailing by a score of 16 to 17 with just three seconds left. Oddly enough, this is the almost exact scenario that happened in 1970 when the Lions thought they had the game won against New Orleans.
Now, Baltimore doesn't have Tom Dempsey, but they do have Justin Tucker. Tucker has been known to have a very strong leg and his coach John Harbaugh has been known to lean on that leg on many occasions. So, it wasn't a total stretch when Harbaugh called Tucker's number and sent him on the field to kick.
Tucker knew that in order to send a football sixty-six yards between the uprights of the goalpost he'd have to kick the ball perfectly. The ball would have to leave his foot with a low enough trajectory to carry the distance, yet it had to be high enough to get over the outstretched hands of the Detroit defenders.
As soon as the ball leaves Tuckers foot, you just knew it had a chance. It was a perfect end-over-end kick that was gaining altitude at just the right angle.
As the ball neared the goalposts you could see it start to lose steam. It actually hits the crossbar of the goalposts.
And because the Detroit Lions just can't seem to buy any good luck, the ball bounced right on through the uprights. This put three points on the scoreboard for Baltimore just as the clock ran out on Detroit.
Here's how it looked in real-time.
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