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Longest distances to go for a first down

Every so often, a drive stalls in epic fashion and the offense is saddled with a huge distance to complete a first down.

Long distances to go for a first down, prior to 1980

Official play-by-play stat sheets — currently referred to as “gamebooks” — have been compiled by the NFL since 1944, but have been archived by teams in haphazard fashion. As of this writing, we’ve been able to compile a definitive record of play-by-plays from 1980 to present, but there were 60 seasons of NFL football for which we lack comprehensive data.

That said, we do know of some notable instances in that 60-year span where a team was saddled with a long distance to convert a first down:

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds, 51 yards (goal-to-go)

Oct. 11, 1933

The now-Steelers franchise, in its first year of its existence and using the baseball team’s eponym, were hit with what was likely to have been the largest offensive penalty in NFL history. At the time, a foul for striking, kneeing, or kicking an opponent was an ejection and was penalized half the distance to the goal. A foul from one’s own 10 would be a 5-yard penalty; own 40, a 20-yard penalty, and so on.

The Pirates were on their opponent’s 2-yard line when fullback Tony Holm was flagged for slugging Reds[1] linebacker[2] Meyers Clark.[3]. The resulting 49-yard penalty put the Pirates in a goal-to-go situation on their side of midfield.

A rule change the next season capped the yardage for a disqualification at 15 yards, making it unlikely that anyone will ever threaten this record[4].

Baltimore Colts at 49ers, 4th & 60

Nov. 29, 1953

At some point in the 2nd quarter, the Colts, in their first season as a franchise, retreated from the San Francisco 31 to their own 19 on a combination of negative plays and twenty yards worth of penalties.

Giants at Packers, 3rd & 52

Dec. 30, 1962 NFL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

The Giants, trailing 13-7 when this series started at the Green Bay 18 late in the third quarter, wouldn’t score for the rest of the game.

It started going nowhere — which was a vast improvement of where it ended up — with incomplete passes on first and second down. Then, the Giants committed offensive holds on consecutive plays. At the time, offensive holding was always enforced 15 yards from the spot of the foul, resulting in penalties of 22 and 20 yards. Faced with a monstrous 3rd & 52, Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle threw another incomplete pass.

A rule change in 1972 would enforce penalties by the offense behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, with the exception of intentional grounding. Holding was reduced to 10 yards in 1978.

Steelers at Oakland Raiders, 4th & 74

October 25, 1970

The indisputable NFL clubhouse leader for the worst distance to a first down[5] is held by the 1970 Steelers, led by rookie quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

 

The official scorekeeping records the first down as a 7-yard loss and a 16-yard sack on second down. Third down started with a run where there was a clipping foul 6 yards downfield, so this was a net -9, but the down repeated. On the next snap, the Steelers were flagged for offensive holding 8 yards in their backfield, a -23 in net yardage, and repeat the down. On 3rd & 65, Steelers rookie quarterback Terry Bradshaw just ate the loss and threw an incomplete pass. To add further indignity already suffered by the Steelers, officials tacked on an intentional grounding penalty, which is officially recorded as -9 yards, since it was half the distance to their own goal.

The 3rd & 65 is also the longest distance we have found for any down before 4th down.

On 4th & 74 with the ball on their own 9 and the line to gain at the Raiders 17, the Steelers punted to the Raiders who took over 58 yards away after a hold was enforced against them on the return.

Perhaps this could be seen as a tipping point in the Steelers fortunes. A perennial cellar dweller for the first four decades of its existence, the Steelers would make the playoffs two years later for the first time since 1947[6] and would close out the decade with four Super Bowl titles.

Cowboys at Patriots, 4th & 63

October 24, 1971[7]

Texas Stadium’s scheduled opening had been delayed twice until this game; it didn’t take long for the Doomsday Defense to make it home.

  1. Sack for a loss of 8
  2. Sack for a loss of 12
  3. Sack for loss of 11, plus offensive holding loss of 15 from spot of the foul. On 3rd & 56, rush for a loss of 7
  4. Punt (4th and 63)

Giants at Eagles, 3rd & 55

Sept. 19, 1976

Both of these teams were bad, but the Giants were worse, especially in this third-quarter sequence.

  1. Rush and fumble recovery for a loss of 5
  2. Offensive holding for loss of 10. Unnecessary roughness for loss of 15. Incomplete pass
  3. Clipping for loss of 15. On 3rd & 55, rush for a gain of 7
  4. Punt (4th & 48)

Chiefs vs. Packers, 3rd & 56

Nov. 6, 1977

  1. Rush for a 2 yard gain
  2. Offensive holding on consecutive downs for a loss of 10 each. Tripping for a loss of 10. Sack for loss of 18.
  3. On 3rd & 56, rush for a gain of 10.
  4. Punt (4th & 46)

Longest distances to go for a first down, 1980-present

All instances of an offensive team being at least 40 yards from the line-to-gain are listed here. Yardages of 40 or more are listed in the downs columns. Penalties are shown in ALL CAPS and are the foul codes used by officials.[8] Multiple actions on the same play are connected with an ampersand, and the yardage of multiple penalties are combined. Intentional grounding (ING) implies a play with an incomplete pass.

Links: boxscore video

Seas Wk Date Qtr Off Def 1D 2D 3D 4D Max Series End of series PFR VID
wdt_ID Seas Wk Date Link Qtr Off Def 1D 2D 3D 4D Max Series End of series PFR VID
1 2020 14 12/13/2020 1 KC @ MIA 0 0 0 42 42 (1) aborted snap/fumble -9. (2) pass 7. (3) sack -30. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/202012130mia.htm
2 2020 1 09/13/2020 4 CHI @ DET 0 0 0 41 41 (1) rush 2. (2) DOG -5, inc. (3) sack/fum -28. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/202009130det.htm
3 2020 1 09/13/2020 2 CLE @ BAL 0 0 41 41 41 (1) FST -5, pass 1, FMM 15, inc. (2) sack. (3) DOG, inc. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/202009130rav.htm
4 2019 1 09/05/2019 1 CHI vs GB 40 40 40 0 40 (1) OH -10, IUH -10, OPI -10, inc. (2) inc. (3) pass 9. (4&31) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201909050chi.htm
5 2018 16 12/23/2018 3 JAX @ MIA 0 0 0 46 46 (1) inc. (2) OH -10, rush -8. (3) OH -10, sack -8. (4&46) punt. punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201812230mia.htm
6 2018 15 12/16/2018 4 BAL vs TB 0 0 0 41 41 (1) rush 2. (2) rush -6. (3) ISH -5, ING -17. (4) DOG, punt. punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201812160rav.htm
7 2018 2 09/16/2018 1 PHI @ TB 0 40 41 0 41 (1) rush 5, UNR -15, IBW -10, inc. (2) TRP -10, rush -1. (3) pass 15. (4&26) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201809160tam.htm
8 2017 16 12/24/2017 2 ATL @ NO 40 0 0 0 40 (1) FST -5, FMM -15, OPI -10, rush 5. (2) pass 5. (3) sack -5. (4&35) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201712240nor.htm
9 2017 6 10/15/2017 2 MIN vs GB 40 40 0 0 40 (1) FMM -15, BLI -15, rush 0. (2) NZI +5, inc. (3) rush 10. (4&20) FST -5, inc/half. end of half https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201710150min.htm
10 2016 8 10/30/2016 4 ARI @ CAR 0 44 44 0 44 (1) OH -10, ILF -5, pass 6. (2) ILH & UNS -25, inc. (3) pass 16. (4&26) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201610300car.htm
11 2016 4 10/02/2016 4 TB vs DEN 0 0 0 43 43 (1) sack -8. (2) run & fumble -16. (3) sack -9. (4&43) inc downs https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201610020tam.htm
12 2016 3 09/25/2016 4 IND vs SD 0 40 0 0 40 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) OPI -10, OH -10, rush 3. (3) pass 13. (4&27) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201609250clt.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=225huJeQh-A
13 2015 12 11/26/2015 3 CAR @ DAL 0 0 0 40 40 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) run & fumble -2. (3) sack -18. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201511260dal.htm
14 2015 1 09/13/2015 3 TB vs TEN 0 0 42 42 42 (1) OH -10, sack -8. (2) sack -14. (3) inc. (4&42) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201509130tam.htm
15 2014 10 11/09/2014 4 NYJ vs PIT 0 0 46 0 46 (1) rush -1. (2) rush -5, UNS -15, UNS -15. (3) rush 9. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201411090nyj.htm
16 2013 6 10/13/2013 4 OAK @ KC 0 0 48 0 48 (1) OH -10, sack -12. (2) DOG -5, sack -11. (3) inc. (4&48) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201310130kan.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt44S8rq5Qs
17 2013 6 10/13/2013 4 OAK @ KC 0 0 0 48 48 (1) OH -10, sack -12. (2) DOG -5, sack -11. (3) inc. (4&48) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201310130kan.htm
18 2013 1 09/09/2013 3 PHI @ WAS 0 0 0 40 40 (1) rush -5. (2) FST -5, rush 0. (3) inc, UNS -15. (4) ILF -5, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201309090was.htm
19 2012 3 09/23/2012 4 WAS vs CIN 0 0 50 0 50 (1) sack -15. (2) inc. (3) FST & UNS/bench & replacement referees erroneously marked off the FST twice -25, inc/game end of game https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201209230was.htm https://www.nfl.com/games/bengals-at-redskins-2012-reg-3
20 2011 7 10/24/2011 2 BAL @ JAX 0 0 0 43 43 (1) pass -5. (2) OH -10, inc. (3) OH -10, pass -8. (4&43) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201110240jax.htm
21 2007 17 12/30/2007 2 SEA @ ATL 0 0 40 0 40 (1) inc. (2) ING -30. (3 & 40) sack/lost fumble -17 fumble https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200712300atl.htm
22 2007 6 10/14/2007 1 OAK @ SD 0 0 0 42 42 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) pass 6. (3) pass 2, CLP -15, DOG -5, rush -10. (4&42) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200710140sdg.htm
23 2007 3 09/23/2007 1 CLE @ OAK 0 0 40 0 40 (1) sack/fum -24. (2) DOG -5, rush 4. (3) FST -5, rush 13. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200709230rai.htm
24 2006 13 12/03/2006 2 OAK vs HOU 0 0 0 43 43 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) CHB -15, rush 7. (3) sack -15. (4&43) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200612030rai.htm
25 2005 11 11/20/2005 2 NYG vs PHI 0 0 0 42 42 (1) sack/fum -24. (2) rush -1. (3) sack -7. (4&42) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200511200nyg.htm
26 2005 10 11/13/2005 3 MIN @ NYG 0 0 41 0 41 (1) OPI -10 & UNS -25, pass -1. (2) inc. (3) FST -5, pass 2. (4&39) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200511130nyg.htm
27 2005 4 10/02/2005 4 HOU @ CIN 0 0 0 41 41 (1) rush 2. (2) sack -11. (3) FST -5, sack -17. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200510020cin.htm
28 2005 4 10/02/2005 3 CIN vs HOU 0 0 40 0 40 (1) DOG -5, rush -3. (2) ING -24. (3) pass 15. (4) FG FG made https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200510020cin.htm
29 2002 2 09/15/2002 4 CIN @ CLE 0 0 0 45 45 (1) inc. (2) UNS -15, sack/fum -8. (3) sack -12. (4&45) interception INT https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200209150cle.htm
30 2001 17 01/06/2002 3 CLE @ PIT 0 41 0 0 41 (1) rush 1, OH -10, ILP -5, sack -17. (2) rush 3. (3) inc. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200201060pit.htm
31 2001 13 12/09/2001 4 SD @ PHI 0 0 0 40 40 (1) pass 0. (2) inc. (3) ING -16. (4) FMM -14, punt. punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200112090phi.htm
32 2001 12 12/02/2001 4 NO vs CAR 0 41 41 0 41 (1) aborted snap/fumble -31. (2) inc. (3) interception INT https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200112020nor.htm
33 2001 7 10/28/2001 1 PHI vs OAK 0 48 0 0 48 (1) sack/fum -38. (2) rush 17. (3) rush 6. (4&48) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200110280phi.htm
34 1999 15 12/20/1999 1 MIN vs GB 0 0 50 43 50 (1) OH -10, run -1. (2) sack/fum -29. (3) pass 7 (4&43) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199912200min.htm https://youtu.be/i_vj4O313BM?t=552
35 1999 11 11/21/1999 4 CLE vs CAR 0 45 0 0 45 (1) run & fumble -35. (2) pass 6. (3) inc. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199911210cle.htm
36 1999 9 11/07/1999 4 ARI @ NYJ 0 0 0 43 43 (1) OH -10, sack/fum -19. (2) rush 5. (3) sack -9. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199911070nyj.htm
37 1999 4 10/03/1999 1 NO @ CHI 0 0 0 42 42 (1) sack -10. (2) rush -3. (3) sack/fum -19. (4&42) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199910030chi.htm
38 1998 11 11/15/1998 3 DET vs CHI 0 0 0 44 44 (1) rush -5. (2) OH -10, ING -12. (3) sack -7. (4&44) RRK 15+FIRST DOWN first down (penalty) https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199811150det.htm
39 1998 6 10/11/1998 3 SF @ NO 0 0 0 40 40 (1) inc. (2) inc. (3) FST -5, OH -10, ING -10. (4) IDK -5, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199810110nor.htm
40 1998 1 09/06/1998 4 IND vs MIA 0 0 0 44 44 (1) OPI -10, IUH 5, sack -9. (2) rush -2. (3) sack -8. (4) PF -15, punt/fumble recovery double change of poss https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199809060clt.htm
41 1997 11 11/09/1997 4 NO @ OAK 44 0 0 0 44 (1) OPI & UNS -25, OH -9, rush 14. (2) rush 0. (3) pass 10. (4&20) punt. punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199711090rai.htm
42 1997 10 11/02/1997 4 MIA @ BUF 0 0 0 43 43 (1) rush 2. (2) OH -10, sack -14. (3) rush & fumble -11. (4&43) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199711020buf.htm
43 1997 10 11/02/1997 2 CHI vs WAS 0 0 0 40 40 (1) inc. (2) inc. (3) inc & UNS & UNS/ejection -30. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199711020chi.htm
44 1997 16 10/14/1997 1 BUF vs JAX 0 0 47 41 47 (1) sack -7. (2) rush/fum -30. (3) run 6. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199712140buf.htm
45 1997 7 10/12/1997 3 ARI vs NYG 0 40 40 0 40 (1) sack/fum -30. (2) inc. (3) pass 9. (4&31) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199710120crd.htm
46 1996 4 09/22/1996 2 CAR vs SF 0 0 0 40 40 (1) rush -1. (2) inc. (3) FST -5, sack/fum -24. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199609220car.htm
47 1995 17 12/24/1995 3 NYJ vs NO 0 0 40 0 40 (1) OH -10, OH -10, rush 10 & PF -11, inc. (2) pass -9. (3) pass 11. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199512240nyj.htm
48 1995 12 11/19/1995 4 SEA @ WAS 0 0 45 45 45 (1) pass & fumble -17. (2) ING -18. (3) inc. (4&45) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199511190was.htm
49 1994 14 12/04/1994 1 PIT @ CIN 0 0 40 0 40 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) ING -15. (3) FST -5, rush 3. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199412040cin.htm
50 1994 11 11/14/1994 2 BUF @ PIT 0 0 0 40 40 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) sack -9. (3) sack -11. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199411140pit.htm
51 1994 2 09/11/1994 3 PIT @ CLE 0 0 0 49 49 (1) rush -4. (2) OH -10, ING -10. (3) inc. (4) OH-10, FST -5. (4&49) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199409110cle.htm
52 1993 8 10/24/1993 3 SF vs PHX 0 0 41 41 41 (1) ING -13. (2) ING -13. (3) FST -5, inc. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199310240sfo.htm
53 1992 13 11/29/1992 3 CHI @ CLE 0 0 43 0 43 (1) rush 1. (2) LBL -15, sack -4. (3) DOG -5, OH -10, pass 10. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199211290cle.htm
54 1992 7 10/18/1992 1 SEA vs LARD 0 0 45 47 47 (1) rush 4. (2) sack/fum -39. (3) rush -2. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199210180sea.htm
55 1992 4 09/28/1992 3 LARD @ KC 0 0 43 40 43 (1) DOG -5, rush 8. (2) OH -10, sack -8. (3) DOG -5, PF -13, rush 3. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199209280kan.htm
56 1991 9 10/28/1991 2 LARD @ KC 0 0 0 42 42 (1) inc. (2) inc. (3) ILP -5, sack -12, UNS -15. (4&42) sack -11 end of half https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199110280kan.htm
57 1991 2 09/08/1991 4 NYJ @ SEA 0 43 0 0 43 (1) OH -10, sack -8. (2) ILM -5, OH -10, DH 5+FIRST DOWN first down (penalty) https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199109080sea.htm
58 1990 8 10/28/1990 4 PHX vs CHI 0 0 0 43 43 (1) inc. (2) sack -8. (3) inc. (4) DOG -5, IDK -5, USC -15, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199010280crd.htm
59 1989 13 12/03/1989 4 NYJ @ SD 0 0 40 0 40 (1) FST -5, OH -10, sack -11. (2) rush 0. (3) FST -4, rush 6. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198912030sdg.htm
60 1989 3 09/24/1989 3 LARD @ DEN 0 40 40 40 40 (1) rush 1. (2) OH -10, OH -10, OH -11, inc. (3) inc. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198909240den.htm
61 1989 1 09/10/1989 2 NO vs DAL 0 0 0 47 47 (1) rush 0. (2) pass 5. (3) aborted snap/fumble -37. (4) DOG -5, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198909100nor.htm
62 1988 15 12/11/1988 1 MIN @ GB 0 0 0 41 41 (1) aborted snap/fumble -9. (2) sack -5. (3) DOG -5, sack -12. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198812110gnb.htm
63 1988 7 10/16/1988 3 LARD @ KC 0 0 49 46 49 (1) OH -10, inc. (2) OH -10, sack/fum -19. (3) rush 3. (4&46) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198810160kan.htm
64 1988 7 10/16/1988 1 GB @ MIN 0 0 0 48 48 (1) inc. (2) pass 3. (3) aborted snap/fumble -41. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198810160min.htm
65 1988 6 10/09/1988 3 CHI @ DET 0 0 0 47 47 (1) rush 0. (2) sack -11. (3) aborted snap/fumble -26. (4&47) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198810090det.htm
66 1988 4 09/26/1988 2 LARD @ DEN 0 0 0 40 40 (1) rush -3. (2) inc. (3) USC -15, run -12. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198809260den.htm
67 1988 3 09/18/1988 4 CIN @ PIT 0 0 0 47 47 (1) rush 3. (2) inc. (3) FST -5, OPI -10, sack -20. (4) DOG -5, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198809180pit.htm
68 1988 1 09/04/1988 3 SD @ LARD 0 0 0 44 44 (1) IDP -10, pass -10. (2) aborted snap/fumble -6. (3) sack -8. (4&44) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198809040rai.htm
69 1987 6-STRIKE 10/18/1987 3 ATL vs LARM 0 0 0 40 40 (1) rush 0, CLP -15, sack -11. (2) rush 1. (3) sack -5. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198710180atl.htm
70 1986 15 12/14/1986 3 SEA @ SD 44 52 0 0 52 (1&G/9) OH -10, OH -10, ICB -15, sack -8. (2&G/own 48) pass 21 & RPS 15+FIRST DOWN. Only goal-to-goal snap on own side of midfield since 1980 first down (penalty) https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198612140sdg.htm https://twitter.com/QuirkyResearch/status/1338488461372903427
71 1986 14 12/07/1986 2 PHI vs STLC 0 0 0 40 40 (1) inc. (2) sack -10. (3) sack -20. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198612070phi.htm
72 1986 11 11/16/1986 2 ATL vs CHI 0 0 0 41 41 (1) rush -6. (2) OH -10, rush -4. (3) sack -11. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198611160atl.htm
73 1986 10 11/09/1986 2 CIN @ HOIL 0 40 0 0 40 (1 & G/7) rush -2, PF -15, rush -16. (2) pass 11. (3) inc. (4) FGA no good FG miss https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198611090oti.htm
74 1986 2 09/14/1986 3 TB vs MIN 0 0 43 0 43 (1) rush & fumble -16. (2) sack -7. (3) OH -10, pass 4. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198609140tam.htm
75 1986 1 09/07/1986 2 PHI @ WAS 0 40 0 0 40 (1) rush 0. (2) FST -5, ILH -10, OH -10, DOG -5, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198609070was.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO2ILLMWEKs
76 1985 9 11/03/1985 3 DEN @ SD 0 0 42 0 42 (1) sack -24. (2) sack -8. (3) interception FG miss https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198511030sdg.htm
77 1985 1 09/08/1985 2 NE vs GB 0 0 40 0 40 (1) sack -12. (2) pass -8. (3) OH -10, rush 3. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198509080nwe.htm
78 1984 11 11/11/1984 1 DET @ WAS 0 0 41 0 41 (1) OH -10, sack -12. (2) sack -9. (3) rush 17. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198411110was.htm
79 1984 10 11/04/1984 1 KC @ SEA 0 0 0 40 40 (1) inc. (2) sack -6. (3) aborted snap/fumble -24. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198411040sea.htm
80 1984 8 10/21/1984 2 PHI vs NYG 0 0 0 43 43 (1) OH -10, sack -9. (2) pass -4. (3) sack -10. (4&43) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198410210phi.htm
81 1984 8 10/21/1984 2 SEA @ GB 0 42 0 0 42 (1) ING & UNS/bench -32. (2) pass 29. (3) pass 18. FIRST DOWN first down https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198410210gnb.htm
82 1984 7 10/14/1984 3 PIT @ SF 0 0 41 0 41 (1) rush 1. (2) OH -10, DOG -5, OH -10, sack -7. (3) run 12. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198410140sfo.htm
83 1983 16 12/18/1983 3 GB @ CHI 0 0 41 0 41 (1) aborted/fumble -9. (2) sack -17. (3) DOG -5, rush 7. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198312180chi.htm
84 1983 9 10/30/1983 1 DET @ CHI 0 0 0 55 55 (1) rush -3. (2) ING -10. (3) sack -12. (4) DOG -5, FMM -15, punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198310300chi.htm https://streamable.com/9h5ve
85 1983 7 10/16/1983 2 SF @ NO 0 0 0 44 44 (1) rush -1. (2) sack -7. (3) OH -10, sack -4, UNS -12. (4&44) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198310160nor.htm
86 1983 3 09/18/1983 2 CHI @ NO 0 0 40 0 40 (1) OH 10, sack/fum -15. (2) inc. (3) ILM -5, interception INT https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198309180nor.htm
87 1982 16 12/26/1982 3 LARM vs CHI 43 0 0 0 43 (1) rush -3, PF/ejection -15, PF -15, pass 14. (2) pass 23. (3) inc. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198212260ram.htm
88 1982 14 12/11/1982 1 NYG vs PHI 0 0 0 41 41 (1) inc. (2) sack -7. (3) aborted snap/fumble -24. (4&41) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198212110nyg.htm
89 1981 DIV 01/02/1982 4 TB @ DAL 0 0 41 0 41 (1) sack -4. (2) DOG -5, sack -17. (3) FST -5, pass 9. (4) punt/aborted snap/fumble -13.[ref]DAL had a 3&39 earlier in the game.[/ref] downs https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198201020dal.htm https://youtu.be/33fDSiSd7uU?t=988
90 1981 WC 12/27/1981 2 BUF @ NYJ 0 46 0 0 46 (1) sack/fum -36. (2) pass 22. (3) pass 10. (4) FGA no good FG miss https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198112270nyj.htm
91 1981 12 11/22/1981 4 PHI vs NYG 0 42 40 0 42 (1) ILH -10, pass 6 & IBW -10, sack -17. (2) rush 2. (3) interception/touchdown INT (TD) https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198111220phi.htm
92 1981 12 11/22/1981 4 PHI vs NYG 0 0 40 0 40 (1) ILH -10, pass 6, IBW -10, sack -14. (2) rush 2. (3) interception INT https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198111220phi.htm
93 1981 3 09/20/1981 4 MIN vs DET 0 0 0 47 47 (1) OH -10, inc, UNS -15. (2) inc. (3) sack -12. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198109200min.htm
94 1981 2 09/13/1981 2 WAS vs NYG 0 40 0 40 40 (1) ILM -5, sack -15. (2) OH -10, pass 9. (3) sack -9. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198109130was.htm
95 1980 16 12/21/1980 4 SEA vs DEN 0 0 45 0 45 (1) sack -18. (2) sack -17. (3) pass 18. (4) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198012210sea.htm
96 1980 12 11/23/1980 2 WAS @ DAL 0 0 0 46 46 (1) sack -8. (2) ILP -5, sack -11. (3) sack -12. (4&46) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198011230dal.htm
97 1980 12 11/23/1980 4 CHI @ ATL 0 0 0 40 40 (1) OPI -10, pass 12. (2) OH -10, sack -13. (3) sack -9. (4&40) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198011230atl.htm
98 1980 7 10/19/1980 4 DET @ CHI 0 0 0 42 42 (1) inc. (2) FST -5, sack -15. (3) DOG -5, sack -7. (4&42) punt punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198010190chi.htm
99 1980 4 09/28/1980 4 WAS vs SEA 0 40 0 0 40 (1) PF -15, OH -10, inc. (2) ILM -5, pass 5, FMM 5 first down (penalty) https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/198009280was.htm
100 2021 13 12/05/2021 1 SEA vs SF 43 43 (1) OH -10, sack & fumble -23. (2&43) run 11. (3) run 12. (4) punt. punt https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/202112050sea.htm
  1. [1]The Reds were also in their first year of existence and were also named for the local baseball team. Unlike their Pittsburgh counterpart, they folded in the middle of the second season after failing to pay league dues. Cincinnati wouldn’t have NFL football again until 1968.
  2. [2]In the terminology of the day, Clark was referred to as a defensive “quarterback” to indicate his location in the formation.
  3. [3]The Pittsburgh Press, unlike the Post-Gazette put below, has the punched player as being end Dick “Tiny” Powell and adds an extra five inches to Powell’s PFR-listed 6’2″ height. Your choice on which Pittsburgh paper to believe.
  4. [4]The longest offensive penalty since 1981 was a mere 30-yard intentional grounding call against Matt Hasselbeck in 2007.
  5. [5]There have been longer to-go distances at lower levels of football; Louisiana Tech faced a 3rd & 93 after a shotgun sack gone wild against Mississippi State in 2017.
  6. [6]Not including the 1962 Bert Bell Playoff Bowl, a third-place consolation game that was played in the 1960s.
  7. [7]The overwhelmingly dark news of the day was in Detroit. Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes collapsed near the end of the game against the Bears. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was unable to save Hughes, who remains the only player to have died on an NFL field.
  8. [8]The full list of penalty abbreviations can be found here.
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor-in-chief and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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