Touted as the game of the season so far, it was a truly epic spectacle – in fact fans of the National Football League will struggle to see a much better encounter throughout history.
This instant classic produced 1,001 total yards, 105 combined points, 56 first downs, 10 passing touchdowns and four lead changes in a 35-point fourth quarter. Wow.
So good was this clash of two of the NFL’s best offences, that it instantly wrote a new chapter in the record books as the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history, while it goes down as the third-highest scoring game of all time.
So, where does it rank with other games of a similar nature? The Rams and Chiefs combined for 105 total points. Only five NFL games have seen more than 100 points amassed, so here we take a look at all five.
Points scored: 113
Washington Redskins 72 New York Giants 41, November 27, 1966
Washington and New York combined for a total of 113 points in one game – which still stands as a record more than half a century later. Whereas many games on this list and generally among the highest-scoring encounters in NFL history are close-run affairs, this was an absolute blowout, with the hosts scoring seven touchdowns of at least 30 yards at D.C. Stadium.
The home side trounced the Giants by 31 points. There were a total of 16 touchdowns scored: 10 by Washington and six by the Giants.
The game was played before the introduction of nets behind the goalposts, causing the loss of 14 footballs to the stands. While 13 were lost due to extra points, one was lost by Brig Owens who threw the ball into the crowd after he returned a fumble 69 yards for a touchdown.
It was the first of three straight games in which the Giants gave up more than 45 points. They allowed 49 against the Cleveland Browns and 47 versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Points scored: 106
Cincinnati Bengals 58 Cleveland Browns 48, November 28, 2004
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer threw for four touchdowns – for the first time in his career – and Rudi Johnson ran for two more along with a career-high 202 rushing yards as the Bengals survived 413 passing yards and five touchdowns by Kelly Holcomb to defeat the Browns by 10 points.
Deltha O’Neal picked off Holcomb and returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown in the final two minutes to end the Browns’ comeback hopes and to cap a truly remarkable afternoon of scoring.
To Cleveland fans, the game has become known as the “Butch Davis Panic Attack” game. Davis had a panic attack four hours before kickoff and resigned as coach two days later.
Points scored: 105
Los Angeles Rams 54 Kansas City Chiefs 51, November 19, 2018
After a back-and-forth slugfest in the first three quarters, the Rams and Chiefs continued to trade blows in the dramatic final frame. Kansas City took a four-point lead following a record-setting Tyreek Hill touchdown reception with a strip-sack fumble return.
L.A. responded with a 90-second touchdown drive. KC bounced back three minutes later with a lead-changing touchdown drive of their own. Within 58 seconds, the Rams were back up by three points, thanks to a game-winning 40-yard sideline strike from Jared Goff to Gerald Everett, who tiptoed down the sideline to put L.A. up for good.
The teams combined for 14 touchdowns – the Buffalo Bills have scored 13 touchdowns total this season.
Rams QB Goff completed 31 of 49 passes for 413 yards and no interceptions, but two fumbles and a rushing touchdown in the first NFL game to ever feature two 50-point performances.
Kansas City counterpart Patrick Mahomes was 33 for 46 for a career-high 478 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in a losing effort.
Points scored: 101
Oakland Raiders 52 Houston Oilers 49, December 22, 1963
This game is so old, it took place in the American Football League (AFL), but it was absorbed into official NFL records after the NFL-AFL merger.
There were a total of 11 touchdowns scored in this slugfest, but it was Oakland placekicker Mike Mercer who was to make the difference, kicking a field goal with 4:37 left in the fourth quarter, breaking the 49-49 tie and giving the Raiders an epic win.
Raiders quarterback Tom Flores threw for 407 yards and six touchdowns. Oilers quarterback and future Hall of Famer George Blanda passed for 342 yards and five touchdowns.
Oakland’s wide receiver Art Powell enjoyed a mesmerising performance, catching 10 passes for a total of 247 yards and four touchdowns. Houston had their own offensive threat in Willard Dewveall who had seven catches, adding up to a total amount of 137 yards and also going into the endzone four times.
The record high-scoring game at the time, it was broken three years later by Washington and New York.
Points scored: 101
New Orleans Saints 52 New York Giants 49, November 1, 2015
Saints quarterback Drew Brees was under fire coming into this encounter, the 36-year-old facing criticism about his advancing years and his troubles following a throwing-shoulder injury in Week 2.
He answered his critics emphatically as he passed for 505 yards and a then NFL record-tying seven touchdowns.
Recently signed Kai Forbath kicked a 50-yard field goal – the only one of the game – as time ran out, giving the Saints a 52-49 victory in a game with a previous record 13 scoring passes.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning, whose father Archie starred for the Saints, threw a career-high six touchdown passes – three of them to New Orleans native Odell Beckham Jr.
“Never been a part of something like that,” Brees said. “Pretty wild.”
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