Highest Scoring NFL Games in History – Who Had the Most Points in First Half and Full-Time
Last Updated: April 24, 2023
As all NFL fans are aware, the modern game is all about collecting points, and long gone are those days which revolved around defense. The truth is that the game has evolved over the years to favor offensive players and statistics.
What also aided scoring in the NFL were changes made over the course of several years, increased pass interference, and increased roughing calls.
When you watch an NFL game that is close to one hundred points, you know that everyone on the field has been very busy. So, what’s the highest-scoring NFL game?
In the following article, we take a look at the highest-scoring football game in history and all other interesting details regarding teams who had the most points in the first half of NFL games and more, so make sure you stick around.
Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants (72 – 41)
The game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants, which was played on the 27th of November 1966 at the District of Columbia Stadium, remains the highest-scoring football game in history with 113 points in total.
Washington also holds the record for most points scored by one team in an NFL game in a regular season.
Older NFL fans probably remember this game for a couple of reasons. First of all, the New York Giants were terrible back despite having star players on the field, such as Sonny Jurgensen and Tom Barrington.
When it comes to the rules of the highest-scored NFL game, they were very different from the modern rules in place today.
Defensive players may slap those trying to stop them. Back then, penalties were fifteen yards from the foul spot. In addition, the holding definition in the 60s was tighter.
The Washington Redskins finished the first half with a 34-7 lead. The Giants scored four touchdowns in the second half, but this was not enough to stop the Redskins from winning the game.
Brig Owens intercepted a pass from Tom Kennedy. This set up a touchdown pass from Jurgensen over to Whitfield. Whitfield, a backup running back at the time, started the game by scoring three touchdowns.
Going into the second quarter, it was 13-0. After the first touchdown, Charlie Gogolak missed the opportunity to get extra points.
In the third quarter of the game, Charlie Taylor scored on Sonny’s touchdown passes of thirty-two and seventy-four yards.
The Giants were able to match the Redskins scoring thanks to Gary Wood’s pair of touchdowns. Before the start of the fourth quarter, the Redskins were in a 48-28 lead.
Ricky Harris’ fifty-two-yard punt return for a touchdown put the Washington Redskins over the 50-point mark. After that, Owens came in front of a Wood pass and went the distance with a sixty-yard interception return.
This touchdown set the record for most points scored by one team in an NFL game. The Redskins scored a touchdown in every imaginable way and collected nine extra points, alongside a field goal.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns (58 – 48)
Now that you are familiar with the highest-scoring football game in history, we examine other NFL games that passed the 100-point mark.
One of these is the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns played on November 28, 2004, at the Paul Brown Stadium.
The Cleveland Browns finished that season with 4 – 12, and the game against the Cincinnati Bengals was one of the most interesting.
Shortly before the game’s conclusion, the Browns took a 48 – 44 lead. However, Rudi Johnson led his team to a 58 – 48 victory with a touchdown.
It was Deltha O’Neal who sealed the teal with a Pick Six with a thirty-one interception return from Graham’s kick. With 106 points in total, this is the second-highest-scored NFL game.
LA Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs (54 – 51)
With a total of 105 points, the 2018 game between the LA Rams and Kansas City Chiefs is the third-highest-scoring football game in history. The game was played on the 19th of November, 2018, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The game was televised on Monday Night Football by ESPN. The Rams won 54 – 51 in what would become the highest-scored NFL game on Monday Night Football.
This is also the highest-scoring game by a losing team in the history of the league.
Up to this day, the Kansas City Chiefs is the only NFL team to finish a game with fifty points and still lose. This is also the very first NFL matchup, with both teams scoring above fifty points.
The two teams finished the game with 1,001 combined total yards to the amusement of over 77,000 spectators.
Jared Goff was the main star of the game, with four touchdowns. He also scored for his team only two minutes after the game finished. Patrick Mahomes was also great on the field, as expected from a player in his prime.
The fourth quarter of the game offered a lot of excitement, starting with Tyreek Hill’s seventy-three-yard passing from Mahomes.
Shortly after, spectators witnessed Allen Bailey’s two-yard return from Harrison Butker. Before the high-octane game finished, Chris Conley scored a ten-yard pass from Mahomes.
New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants (52 – 49)
Fourth on the list of the highest-scoring football game in history, we have the game between the New Orleans Saints and New York Giants, which ended in the Saints winning 52 – 49.
The game was played on November 1, 2015, and it is commonly referred to as The Superdome Duel.
The Saints won the game, and this was their third consecutive win. Dree Brews set a couple of records for the Saints team, including the record for most touchdowns (7), most yards (511), and most completions in a single game (40).
The New Orleans Saints were better for the majority of the game, but the Giants were closely following, even after Eli Manning’s six touchdowns and Odell Beckham Jr.’s three touchdowns and eight receptions. The game was tied with only nine minutes showing on the clock.
The Saints took the lead with seven minutes remaining. Brees and C.J. Spiller led their team to a 52 – 49 victory at the end of the game.
This was yet another awesome quarterback duel with thirteen touchdowns in total by two players, Eli Manning and Drew Brees.
Oakland Raiders vs. Houston Oilers (52 – 49)
With 101 points in total, the game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers from 1963 is fourth-placed on the list of the highest-scored NFL game, tied with the game we discussed in the previous section.
The Oakland Raiders and the Oilers met on the football field on the 22nd of December 1963. In the first three quarters, the Oilers were better, with 49 points and a comfortable lead.
However, the course of the game shifted in the fourth quarter, with the Oilers not being able to pass through Oakland’s defense.
The game was tied following Tom Flores’ amazing twenty-three-yard touchdown pass. Mike Mercer was the star of the game with his thirty-nine-field game-winning goal, and the rest is history.
The second quarter of the game was also very action-packed, with Willard Dewveall’s twelve-yard pass from Blanda’s kick and Ken Herock’s seven-yard pass from Flores. In the second quarter, Clem Daniels also received a fifty-six-yard pass from Flores.
With 101 points, the game between the Denver Broncos and the Dally Cowboys (51 – 48) from 2013 also appears on the list, alongside the 1983 game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs (51 – 48), and the 1985 game between the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers (54 – 44).
New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans (45 Points in the 1st half)
Now, we take a look at the record for the most points in the first half NFL game, and that would be the matchup between the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans.
The New England Patriots hold the record for the most points in a half NFL game, with the team scoring 45 points in the first half against the Tennessee Titans.
This NFL record for points in a half-game was set back on the 18th of October, 2009. Needless to say, the main star of the show was Tom Brady, who led his team to a massive win of 59 – 0, and the Patriots were leading by 45 points before the second half of the game.
Another fun fact is that the Patriots were leading by 35 points only after fifteen minutes of playing. Before setting the NFL record for points in a half-game, the Patriots were recovering from a loss to the Denver Broncos the previous game.
The Patriots broke the record for most points in a half NFL game, also another NFL record, and nine team records. One of the team’s records broken that game was their record for most yards in a single game (619).
Tom Brady also broke the record for most touchdown passes in a single quarter. Speaking of Tom Brady, he also threw touchdowns only fifty-seven seconds apart from each other. The game for the Tennessee Titans finished with a minus-seven record in passing yards from Collins.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins (42 Points in the 1st half)
When discussing matchups with the most points in first-half NFL games, we have to mention the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins when the Ravens finished the first half of the game with a comfortable 42-10 lead.
At the time, this matchup held a record for most points in a half NFL game for the Ravens team. The two stars of the game were most certainly Marquise Hollywood Brown and Lamar Jackson.
Superior Lamar Jackson finished the first half of the game with four touchdowns and 210 yards. This is his record for most touchdowns in a single game.
Aside from setting this record, amazing Jackson also set the record for the most touchdowns in the first half of a starter game.
In addition, Lamar Jackson completed ten of his eleven passes. Another star of the matchup was Brown, who caught a pass for a forty-seven-yard touchdown, while his second touchdown was even more impressive from eighty-three yards.
This Browns’ eighty-three-yard touchdown remains in Raven’s history as the fifth-longest. In his debut game, brown also finished with multiple forty-yard touchdowns.
Mark Ingram, another Ravens’ rookie, did amazing rushing for forty-nine yards. Miles Boykin also has his first career catch.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings (33 Points in the 1st half)
Finally, we briefly discuss the matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings. In the first half of the match, the Vikings were in the lead with 33 points.
In fact, the Vikings pulled what is one of the biggest NFL comebacks in the history of the league, defeating the heavily favored Colts 39-36-
This was a truly remarkable game for many reasons. First of all, Dalvin Cook took an amazing pass from Cousins’ sixty-four yards and scored a touchdown with only two minutes and fifteen seconds remaining. The game was tied up at this point.
However, the Vikings’ Greg Joseph scored the game-winning forty-yard-field goal just before the game finished. This was the Colts’ fourth consecutive defeat that season.
It should be noted that the previous comeback record in the NFL belonged to the Bills. The team was able to recover from being 32 points down to the favored Oilers. The team won 41-38.
Back in 1948, the record for the most points in a halftime NFL game was set by the Chicago Cardinals. The team scored 42 points in halftime against the Giants.
This was the record for most points in the first half NFL game for over sixty years, which now belongs to the New England Patriots.