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The Worst Field Goal Debacles in NFL History

Updated on January 1, 2019

Mike Vanderjagt - Less Talk, More Kick

Mike Vanderjagt was one of the most accurate kickers in the game when he played for the Indianapolis Colts. He had the record for accuracy at the time in the NFL and wasn't shy about talking to people about his confidence level.

In the 2005 playoffs against Pittsburgh though, he pushed a 46-yarder wide as time was running down. Compounding the error, he took off his helmet and threw it down, prompting a 15-yard penalty. The Colts would lose 21-18.

Billy Cundiff - Close, But No Cigar Kick

Talk about a miss. Down 20-23 with fifteen seconds left in the fourth quarter of the 2011 AFC Championship game, Baltimore called on Cundiff to hit a short 32-yarder to tie it.

Not even close. This one ended up in the parking lot somewhere. He may have killed the mascot. See the video below to watch how badly of a miss it truly was.

In all fairness to Billy, you have to blame the huge jinx that was put on him by the commentator right before he kicked. "The last two years, Cundiff is 16 for 16 in the fourth quarter."

Matt Bryant - The Zapruder Kick

I refer to this film as the Zapruder film of the NFL. I'm pretty sure the NFL had all film of this play deleted from their archives since the officiating call was so bad.

Let's set the scene - 2003 Wild Card Round. The 10-6 Giants traveled to San Francisco. The Giants had built up a 38-14 lead and the 49ers had clawed back to take a 39-38 lead. Playing with a long snapper just signed five days earlier and having snapped a bad one that led to a miss on the previous drive, the Giants went for a make-able field goal to win it.

The snap again came in low and holder Matt Allen rolled out to his right and fired a pass downfield to guard Rich Seubert. Seubert was open and hauled down by 49ers linebacker Chike Okeafor. A clear pass interference penalty.

The officials conferred and flagged the Giants instead for an ineligible man downfield penalty. It was later discovered that Seubert had reported as an eligible receiver before the play started and the NFL had to admit that the officials blew the call.

See the film below which may be one of the only versions still in existence.

The Zapruder Kick

Neil Rackers - "They Are What We Thought They Were!"

In 2006, the Arizona Cardinals were playing the Chicago Bears. Arizona was up big and let a lead slip away. Rackers missed a 41-yarder with under a minute left that spawned Dennis Green's post-game rant.

It was one of those epic moments where someone completely lost their mind. Jim Mora's - 'Playoffs?' and Allen Iverson's - 'Practice?' interviews are up there too.

Bill Gramatica - Let's High Five From Now On Kick

When you're a rookie, you're going to tend to be over-excited when you do your job well. Kicker Bill Gramatica was so excited to hit a 43-yarder in the first half of a 2001 game against the Giants that he launched himself up into the air. The problem - he tore his ACL on the landing.

The German judge only gave him a 7.9 because he didn't stick the landing. Gramatica's season ended there and he only kicked in the NFL for two more years.

Gary Anderson - Perfection Averted

The year is 1998 and Minnesota went an astounding 15-1 in the regular season. Their kicker, Gary Anderson, has not missed a kick all season. Playing Atlanta in the NFC Championship, Anderson was called upon to hit a 38-yarder to extend the lead.

He missed. Atlanta drove down and tied the game at 27 all and then went on to win 30-27. Anderson was one of the most accurate kickers in the history of the NFL, but that was a tough one for him.

Gary Misses, Morten Hits


Tony Romo - "Laces Out, Tony!"

The 2007 NFC Wildcard round game for the Dallas Cowboys has beent he summation of Tony Romo's career. Put yourself in position to win and then do something really dumb to lose.

Romo had driven the Cowboys down deep into Seattle territory with time running out in regulation. The Seahawks led 21-20 and Dallas lined up for a short field goal to win it. So short that everyone basically said it was an extra point. Now everyone knows the percentages on extra points. They are nearly impossible to miss.

Well, Romo couldn't handle the snap from center, killed the timing with the kicker, then failed in his attempt to run the ball into the end zone, falling just short of the goal line. Game over. Season over.

You can just hear Ray Finkle somewhere yelling, "Lace out, Tony!"

Norwood - Wide Right

I remember my friend who I played volleyball with in college, Shanker. It was the best volleyball nickname I had ever heard, except that it wasn't a nickname he got from the sport at all. Shanker was watching the Giants play the Bills in the Super Bowl when Norwood missed the kick wide right. I was in a car coming back from a volleyball tournament ironically.

Shanker was so devastated that he kicked his beer all over the fraternity brother's room he was watching the game in while he was pledging. As revenge, the brother made sure his nickname would become Shanker in honor of that moment.

Norwood is to Buffalo as Buckner is to Boston. Steve Bartmann to Chicago. It's just a truly painful moment in history.

What is the Worst Kick in NFL History?

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    • profile image


      11 months ago from Clearwater, Florida

      Enjoyed the tour. I had to vote for the Norwood kick only because the results were so devastating to Bills fans:(

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma

      A lot of fun to look back on some of the league's great kicking mishaps.

      Thanks for the read.

    • Ty Tayzlor profile image


      5 years ago from Anywhere

      You can't completely Scott Norwood. That was no short kick, that was almost 50 yards on grass. Vanderjagt's was inexcusable.


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