Understanding Missed Field Goals In Football

The rules of football can be confusing and even after years of watching this sport you may still find yourself with a few questions. In this article, we are going to break down everything you need to know about missed field goals in football.

What Is A Missed Field Goal?

A missed field goal in football occurs when a team attempts a field goal and the ball fails to travel between the uprights.

In most cases of a missed field goal either the kicker missed the uprights with his kick or a defender was able to get a hand on the ball.

Though in most cases in which a defender touches the ball it is considered a blocked field goal and not a missed field goal.

What Happens When You Miss A Field Goal

When you miss a field goal in football the other team takes possession of the ball. This means their offense will come onto the field and your defense will come onto the field.

This change of possession is why teams typically only go for field goals on fourth down.

Now you may be wondering where do the other team get the ball when a field goal is missed? In most cases, the team taking possession of the ball is going to start at the line of scrimmage from the previous play.

In other words, if the offensive team misses a field goal the other team gets the ball at the offense’s location on the field.

This means if the line of scrimmage is at the thirty-yard line when the field goal is attempted the defense will take possession of the ball at the thirty-yard line if the kick is missed.

Can you return a field goal attempt?

Teams may return missed field goals if they end up short of the uprights. If a player is able to catch a missed field goal inbounds he is able to return it like a kickoff.

Field goals coming up short typically only happens when they are attempted from a long distance meaning in most cases it isn’t wise to return the ball.

This is because you are going to be taking possession of the ball from the point of the kick. Unless you are going to return it all the way back to the point of the field goal attempt you might as well just let the ball go out of bounds.

The situations in which kicks are often returned happen when there is no time left in the half or game.

When this occurs a player might as well return the field goal attempt as their offense will not get a chance to get on the field before time expires.

This can lead to some incredibly exciting plays such as the famous kick six from the Iron Bowl in NCAA football.

What Is The Longest Field Goal Ever Attempted?

The longest field goal ever attempted in football was 76 yards. This attempt was made by Sebastion Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders, the attempt was not successful.

The longest field goal ever made was done so by Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens who converted a field goal from 66 yards.

This 66-yard field goal was kicked at the last second of the game in order to win it. It first contacted the bottom bar of the upright before trickling in for the record of the longest field goal ever made.

What if you missed a field goal on first or second down?

Field goals are almost always kicked on fourth down. Failed fourth down attempts and missed field goals result in the ball being turned over to the opposing team.

This begs the question what happens if a team attempted a field goal and missed on their first or second down.

Missing a field goal is going to result in a possession being given to the other team no matter what down it is on.

Missed field goals on first down, second down, or third down will all result in the opposing team assuming possession of the ball.

If this were not the case teams could simply attempt a field goal on first down and then attempt it again on second down if they missed their first kick.

That is all on missed field goals in football read up on field goals in general or learn more about the field goal target line.

Leave a Comment