Denver’s Matt Prater kicks NFL-record 64-yard field goal

Matt Prater of the Denver Broncos kicks an NFL-record 64-yard field goal out of a hold by Britton Colquitt with three seconds left in the first half of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.
(Jack Dempsey / Associated Press)

It took 43 years, but someone finally broke Tom Dempsey’s record for the NFL’s longest field goal.

Denver’s Matt Prater kicked a 64-yarder at the end of the first half Sunday against Tennessee, just clearing the crossbar to beat the mark by a yard. The kick trimmed the Titans’ lead to 21-20.

Dempsey set the record in 1970 with the New Orleans Saints, and the mark was subsequently tied by Denver’s Jason Elam (1998), Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and San Francisco’s David Akers (2012).


It’s no secret that the altitude in the Mile High City helps kickers. Elam and Janikowski were both kicking in Denver when they made 63-yarders. However, cold weather is not ideal for kicking distance because cold air is denser than warm air. The temperature was 14 degrees when Prater made his kick.

Michael Husted, a former NFL kicker who is now a kicking coach and consultant, said the benefit of the high altitude would outweigh the detriment of the low temperature.

“The altitude will still win out,” Husted said. “Definitely, cold weather will decrease the distance on the ball. But when all is said and done, the altitude still gives you five or six yards, easily. I know whenever I kicked there, it was a noticeable difference.

“I always figured that if somebody was going to break it, it was going to happen in Denver.”

Husted said he would not be surprised to see successful field goals of 65 and possibly 66 yards within the next few years.

“Kickers are getting better,” he said. “I also wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL narrows the uprights sometime soon.”



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