What is the record high score in a National Football League game?

The National Football League (NFL) was founded, as the American Professional Football Association (APFA), in Canton, Ohio in 1920 and became known by its current name two years later. In just over a century of its history, the record high score overall occurred in a regular-season game between Washington Redskins – now, of course, Washington Commanders – and the New York Giants at District of Columbia Stadium, Washington, D.C., on November 27, 1966. To put that date in perspective, it was exactly seven weeks before Super Bowl I, played at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum the following January.

With home advantage, the Redskins, coached by Otto Everett Graham Jr., were made 17-point favourites by the bookmakers and duly took a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter, courtesy of two touchdowns by running back A.D. Whitfield and a third by defensive back Brig Owens. Indeed, having returned a defensive fumble 62 yards for his touchdown, Owens threw the ball into the crowd, thereby contributing to the total of 14 footballs that disappeared into the stands during the game; the practice of hanging nets behind goal posts was not introduced until 1967, so extra-point kicks accounted for the other 13.

The Giants briefly cut the Redskins’ lead to 20-7 but, after Whitfield scored his third touchdown of the game later in the second quarter, they were never less than 13 points behind. All told, the Redskins scored ten touchdowns, and a solitary field goal, in the dying seconds, while the Giants scored six touchdowns, for a final scoreline of 72-41 and a combined points total of 113.

The record high score may have been set six decades ago, but it has only been seriously challenged twice; in November 2004, Cincinnati Bengals beat Cleveland Browns 58-48 at Paul Brown Stadium, for a combined total of 106 points and, in November 2018, Los Angeles Rams beat Kansas City Chiefs 54-51 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, for a combined total of 105.

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