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What is the most points scored in an NFL game?

Washington and the New York Giants played the NFL's highest-scoring game in 1966
Washington and the New York Giants played the NFL's highest-scoring game in 1966
Walter Sharp
ANALYST

On Nov. 27, 1966, the Washington Redskins and New York Giants would light up the District of Columbia Stadium scoreboard in the highest-scoring game in NFL history.

The Redskins' 72-41 victory still stands as the most combined points (113) in an NFL game, and the most points (72) for one team in an NFL game.

During that 1966 NFL season, the Redskins would finish 7-7 under head coach Otto Graham, while the Giants finished 1-12-1 under head coach Allie Sherman.


The scoring

On November 27, 1966, the New York Giants would travel to play Washington at the District of Columbia Stadium in Week 12 of the NFL schedule.

Head coaches Graham and Sherman would have never guessed that the scoring would come as often as it did. The Redskins had topped 30 points a few times that season prior to the Giants game, but the Giants had been held to single-digit scoring three times. Neither team was an offensive juggernaut by any means.

In their Week 12 matchup, Washington would start off scoring three unanswered touchdowns against the Giants, including a 63-yard run by running back A.D. Whitfield and a 62-yard fumble return by safety Brig Owens. The Giants would finally get on the scoreboard when Allen Jacobs rushed for a 6-yard touchdown. Whitfield would later score his third touchdown of the half on a 1-yard run.

Washington would score another touchdown on a 9-yard rush by Joe Don Looney increasing their lead to 34-7 in the second quarter. The Giants would get another touchdown before the half on a 1-yard rush by Gary Wood. The Redskins would take a 34-14 lead into halftime.

The closest that the Giants would get to Washington was at the start of the third quarter. The Giants would open the scoring in the third quarter with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Joe Morrison, bringing the score to 34-21. Both the Giants and Washington would score two touchdowns in the third quarter. Washington would take a 48-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Washington would score back-to-back touchdowns to start the fourth quarter. The Giants would strike back with back-to-back touchdowns of their own. Washington would fire back to end all hopes for the Giants. Washington would end the game with back-to-back touchdowns, giving them the 72-41 victory.


The stats

Despite the record-setting team scoring stats, the historic game between Washington and the Giants didn't produce many eye-popping individual stats.

The 113 combined points is an NFL record. Washington's 72 points is an NFL record.

Washington would outscore the Giants 48-27 in the second half alone, which would be a high-scoring total for an entire game in an NFL season. Washington scored 34 points in the first half; in the 2020 NFL season, the league's highest-scoring team, the Green Bay Packers, averages 31.7 points per game.

Washington quarterback Sonny Jurgensen completed 10 of 16 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Charley Taylor caught six of those passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

But it's not like Washington had any monster rushing performances, either. Whitfield finished with 74 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground, plus one receiving touchdown. Bobby Mitchell ran for 54 yards and a score, and Joe Don Looney gained 46 yards and one rushing TD.

The most impressive individual effort came from Brig Owens, the Washington defensive back. He had three interceptions, including a pick-six (60 yards) and he scored another touchdown on a fumble recovery (62 yards).

Washington's Rickie Harris had a 52-yard punt return touchdown.

The Giants used two quarterbacks -- Tom Kennedy and Gary Wood -- and neither passed for more than 165 yards. They combined to throw five interceptions and three touchdowns.

Giants running back Joe Morrison piled up 59 rushing yards and 98 receiving yards and scored one touchdowns.


Edited by Amaar Burton

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