Tom Dempsey Kicks 63-Yard Field Goal On This Date 42 Years Ago
42 years ago today, back on November 8, 1970, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Detroit Lions, 19-17, at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Saints won that game, thanks to an NFL record 63-yard field goal by kicker Tom Dempsey, as time expired.
The Lions took the lead at the :11 mark when Errol Mann booted home an 18-yard field goal. making it 17-16.
New Orleans then returned the ensuing kick-off to their own 28-yard line, with only :08 remaining.
The Saints, with time for only one play to get them into possible field range, were able to move the ball to their own 45-yard line, as quarterback Billy Kilmer hit Al Dodd with a 17-yard pass.
That was when Saints’ head coach J.D. Roberts, in his first game as coach since replacing J.D. Roberts, sent Dempsey in to attempt a 63-yard field goal.
Now, in 1970, the goal posts in the NFL were on the goal lines instead of the end lines, so Joe Scarpati, who was holding for Dempsey, placed the ball down at the New Orleans 37-yard line with :02 left.
Dempsey made the kick, with a couple of feet to spare, breaking the old NFL record of 56 yards set in 1953 by Colts’ kicker Bert Rechichar. Dempsey still shares that record with three other kickers to this day.
Unfortunately for the Saints, it was the last game they would win that year, as they finished the season at 2-11-1, but it was a moment that fans will forever remember.