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Analyzing Record-Breaking Performances: Most Points Scored in an NFL Game

Football fans, gather round because I’m about to take you on a wild ride back to one of the most legendary days in NFL history. The date was November 27, 1966, and the Washington Redskins were set to take on the New York Giants in what would become an absolute offensive explosion leading to the most points scored in an NFL game.

The Legendary 72-41 Shootout: Reliving the Highest Scoring Game in NFL History

Now, I know what you’re thinking – the Redskins and Giants? Weren’t they supposed to be defensive powerhouses back then? Well, my friends, that’s exactly what made this game so darn special. On that fateful day in our nation’s capital, the two teams combined for a staggering 113 points, shattering the previous record and etching their names in the history books forever. Three other games have eclipsed the 100-point mark. The 72 points scored by Washington are the most points scored by one team in an NFL game. Will the NFL schedule ever have another game as explosive as this?

Analyzing Record-Breaking Performances: Most Points Scored in an NFL Game
A general view of the opening kickoff of the New York Giants | Al Bello / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

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A Scoring Frenzy for the Ages

From the opening kickoff, it was clear this was going to be no ordinary football game. The Redskins came out firing on all cylinders, racking up 10 touchdowns on the day, including a pair of long scores from the dynamic duo of Sonny Jurgensen and Bobby Mitchell.

But the Giants weren’t about to go down without a fight. Quarterback Gary Wood and his receivers kept the pressure on, finding the end zone six times themselves. In fact, the two teams combined for a mind-boggling 16 touchdowns, with the lead changing hands multiple times throughout the afternoon.

By the time the dust had settled, the scoreboard read an unbelievable 72-41 in favor of the Redskins. It was a game that had everything – explosive plays, highlight-reel runs, and even a bit of kicking practice at the end, as the Redskins’ Charlie Gogolak booted a 23-yard field goal with just seven seconds remaining.

A Day That Will Live in Infamy

Now, I know what you’re thinking – how in the world did these two teams combine for 113 points? Well, my friends, it was a perfect storm of offensive firepower, defensive lapses, and a few unique circumstances that made this game one for the ages.

For starters, the Redskins and Giants were playing in the pre-net era, which meant that every extra-point attempt sailed into the stands. By the end of the day, the Redskins had lost a whopping 13 footballs to the crowd, adding to the already astronomical final score.

But perhaps the most memorable moment came in the final seconds, when a shell-shocked Giants quarterback, Tom Kennedy, lost track of the downs and threw the ball out of bounds on fourth down, giving the Redskins one last chance to pad their lead. And boy, did they ever, as Gogolak split the uprights to make it a 72-41 final.

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A Legacy That Endures

To this day, the 1966 clash between the Redskins and Giants remains the highest-scoring game in NFL history. It’s a record that has stood the test of time, and one that has become the stuff of legend among football fans and historians alike.

So, the next time you’re feeling nostalgic for the good old days of the NFL, be sure to revisit this epic showdown. It’s a game that perfectly encapsulates the raw, unbridled excitement of the sport we all love, and a testament to the fact that sometimes, the best defense is a relentless, high-powered offense.

November 27, 1966
1st quarter 2nd quarter 3rd quarter 4th quarter FINAL
Washington 13 21 14 24 72
NY Giants 0 14 14 13 41
Scoring Summary
WAS Whitfield 5 yd. pass from Jurgensen (Kick blocked)
WAS Whitfield 63 yd. run (C. Gogolak kick)
WAS Owens 62 yd. run with fumble (C. Gogolak kick)
NYG Jacobs 6 yd run (P. Gogolak kick)
WAS Whitfield 1 yd. run (C. Gogolak kick)
WAS Looney 10 yd. run (C. Gogolak kick)
NYG Wood 1 yd run (P. Gogolak kick)
NYG Morrison 41 yd. pass from Wood (P. Gogolak kick)
WAS Taylor 32 yd. pass from Jurgensen (C. Gogolak kick)
NYG Jones 50 yd. pass from Wood (P. Gogolak kick)
WAS Taylor 74 yd. pass from Jurgensen (C. Gogolak kick)
WAS Harris 52 yd. punt return (C. Gogolak kick)
WAS Owens 62 yd interception return (C. Gogolak kick)
NYG Thomas 18 yd. pass from Kennedy (kick failed)
NYG Lewis 1 yd. run (P. Gogolak kick)
WAS Mitchell 45 yd. run (C. Gogolak kick)
WAS C. Gogolak 23 yd. Field Goal

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Statistics

PASSING

  • NYG – Kennedy, 13 of 21 for 165; Wood, 7 of 12 for 146.
  • WAS – Jurgensen, 10 of 16 for 145; Barrington, 1 for 0; Shiner, 1 for 0.

RECEIVING

  • NYG – Jones, 6 for 85; Morrison, 4 for 98; Thomas, 4 for 82; Crespino, 3 for 22; Jacobs, 2 for 29.
  • WAS – Taylor, 6 for 124; Looney, 2 for 4.

RUSHING

  • NYG – Morrison, 16 for 59; Jacobs, 10 for 25; Lewis, 4 for 19; Mercein, 2 for 8.
  • WAS – Looney, 10 for 46; Whitfield, 6 for 74; Mitchell, 2 for 54; Barrington, 5 for 26.

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