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How Many Points Is A Field Goal?

Have you ever asked the question… How many points is a field goal? In a professional game of football, a “field goal” is worth three points. To understand it more clearly, field goal happens when an offensive player tries or attempts to kick the ball which passess through the upright goal posts behind the end zone. 

How To Get A Field Goal

How do you get a field goal? 

The player must “place-kicked” or “drop-kicked” the ball in order for the field goal to be counted. 

The term “place-kicked” is a type of kick in football in which the ball is placed in position before it is kicked, while a “drop-kicked” is a kick made by dropping a ball and kicking it as it goes down to the ground. 

During this occurrence, teams are bringing out different players to make the field goal attempt, which mainly includes a “holder” and a “kicker.” A holder is a player who is responsible for holding the ball for the kicker as they try to score a field goal. While a kicker is the one who is responsible for scoring by means of kicking the ball and making sure that it passess through the goal posts. 

Take note that a “field goal” can happen from any part of the football field. Some teams would choose to make a field goal from 30 yards back or more. All they have to do is to assure that the kicker is in position behind the scrimmage line and has a clear vision of the goal before kicking it to make sure that his team will have a successful field goal attempt. 

The Longest Field Goal Kicked In NFL History

If you are wondering what is the longest field goal kicked in the National Football League (NFL) history, you might be surprised. 

Matt Prater in 2013, during his stint for the Denver Broncos made the longest field goal in the history of the professional league. Scoring from a distance of 64 yards at the end of the first half against the Tennessee Titans on the night of December 8, 2013, lifting his team to a 51-28 victory. 

One year later, the team and Matt Prater cut ties as the Denver Broncos released the most efficient kicker in the franchise’s history due to the reason that Prater was suspended for continuously violating the league’s substance abuse policy. As of the moment, Prater is still in the league, playing for the Detroit Lions and still an efficient place kicker. Converting an average of 83.8% in making a field goal attempt.  

The Second Longest Field Goal Kicked In NFL History

The second longest field goal in NFL history was made by Brett Maher on October 21, 2019 with 1 yard shy of tying the record and 2 yards shy of surpassing it. Maher, during the final play before the first half ended, drilled a 63-yards field goal. 

Brett and his team, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadelphia Eagles during the game with the score of 37-10. Aside from holding the record for the second longest field goal in the league’s history, Brett Maher owns a single record for the most field goals made at 60 yards or longer. The 63-yard field goal that was mentioned above was his third 60 plus FG of his career and was his second during the 2019 NFL season.[1]

In terms of making an attempt, Sebastian Janikowski tried to make a 76-yards field goal on September 28, 2008 but it was not successful like what Matt and Brett were able to do. 

Who Invented The Field Goal?

The question that comes into our minds right now is who is responsible for inventing the field goal in football? 

Joel Rottman is the one who conceptualized and invented the field goal in football. He was a retired newspaper distributor. While having lunch at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal with his friends in 1967, Rottman stared into his fork and made a clear image into his mind on what a football goal posts would look like. Rottman finalized his idea and brandished his new invention during the “Expo ’67” in Montreal which made him earn a meeting with the NFL Commissioner during that time, Pete Rozelle. [2]

After that, the kicking game is a strategy that is commonly used by teams in an attempt to gain points. In the year 1973, a total of 543 field goals were made on 861 total attempts—an average of five per game. 

Final Words

In conclusion, being able to convert by means of kicking in order to score is easier than running into the pitch and passing through your opponents. Players must understand that football is a game of strategy and focus. Being a place kicker and attempting to make a field goal is not an easy task to do, your teammates will trust you to score for your team and you must make sure that you’ll be able to convert and make that ball pass through the posts. What do you think about being a place kicker? Why or why not is it important in the field? Share us your insights!


1. “2019 NFL season – Wikipedia.” Accessed 28 Jul. 2020.
2. “Pete Rozelle – Wikipedia.” Accessed 28 Jul. 2020.

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