NFL kickers are better than ever, and field goals are getting longer than ever.
Through 10 weeks this season, there have been 71 field goals of 50 yards or longer. That means the league is on pace to have 124 field goals of 50 yards or longer this season. That would be by far the most of any season in NFL history.
NFL kickers are so good now that some fans may not realize how rare a 50-yard field goal used to be. Here’s how many 50+ yard field goals the NFL had in the following full seasons:
Yes, in 1960 there were only five field goals league-wide of more than 50 yards. There were 11 field goals of 50 or more yards just last week.
Kickers are making 50-yard field goals so often that there are sometimes calls for rule changes to make field goals harder, such as narrower goal posts or backing the goal posts up a few yards behind the end line. But the NFL has shown little interest in doing that. Instead, the 50-yard field goal appears to be a normal part of the NFL, for good.