Dateline: Sunday, November 27, 1966. 50,439 pack the stands at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. 7-seconds remain in a 69-41 football game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. This was already the highest scoring game in professional football history. And it was about to get uglier.
The most bizarre play of a most bizarre game came with 7-seconds remaining on 4th down, the Giants lined up on their 23 yard line. Quarterback Tom Kennedy apparently lost track of downs, and thinking it was third down, threw the ball out of bounds resulting in New York turning the ball over.
With several personal vendettas in play, the Redskins called a time out and, with those 7-seconds remaining on the clock, Charlie Gogolak kicked a 29-yard field goal to raise the score to 72-41.
113-total points scored. 16-touchdowns. 72 points by one team. Most extra points kicked by a Gogolak – Charlie kicked 9 for the Redskins, Pete kicked 5; actually, it is the most extra points made in a game with or without a Gogolak.
Why send the place kicker into the game? “He needed the practice,” said head coach, hall of famer, Otto Graham. Gogolak had missed two field goals the previous week in a 14-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
Sam Huff and Vince Promuto, both lay claim to having given the “T” signal to the referees with the intention of encouraging the field goal attempt. Both had personal reasons for ratcheting up the score: Huff had been traded to the Redskins against his wishes 2-seasons before on April 9, 1964; Promuto grew up watching the Giants run the score up over a hapless Redskins team and this was his chance for payoff.
The score could have been even worse, but for a blocked extra point attempt by the Giants in the first quarter.
The difference of that field goal is the difference in what team goes into the record books as the team that has scored the most points in a game – in 1950, the Los Angeles Rams won 70- 27 over the Baltimore Colts.
It was a game of Giants turnovers – 5 interceptions and a lost fumble. At halftime, the Redskins had -2 net passing yards yet led 34-14. Touchdowns included 74-yard receptions, 52-yard punt returns, 62-yard recovered fumbles, and 45-yard rushes. Giants touchdowns included 41-yard and 50-yard passes.
The Redskins finished 1966 at 7-7; The Giants finished 1-12-1. That 1 win? 13-10 over the Washington Redskins.
“’66 Redskins-Giants: Who Called Time Out?” redskins.com
“Rolling it up” Dennis Tuttle, The Sporting News on findarticles.com
“Highest Scoring Game,” profootballhof.com