In 2022, special team squads averaged 46.7 yards per punt.
Even the best punters won’t typically exceed that distance by much, given a longer punt will often result in a touchback.
The longest possible net punt is 99 yards, from inches inside one goal line to the other. And no player in NFL history has reached this feat, with the record being 1-yard shorter (but Nevada’s Pat Brady holds an NCAA college football record with his 99-yard punt in 1950).
In fact, Ray Guy – the only punter to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame – finished his legendary career with a max punt of just 74 yards.
We’ve previously listed football’s longest field goals, but now let’s explore the longest punts in NFL history.
Longest Punts in NFL History
1. 98 yards – Steve O’Neal, New York Jets (1969)
O’Neal’s 98-yard punt is the longest in NFL history, launched from the very back of the end zone. While it did not remain airborne the entire distance, the ball hit the 33-yard line and rolled all the way to the 1. Selected in the second round of the ‘69 NFL draft, the rookie cemented his place in football history.
But the Jets ultimately dropped the game 21-19 to the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium (when the teams were still part of the American Football League).
2. 93 yards – Shawn McCarthy, New England Patriots (1991)
McCarthy comes in second with a 93-yard punt in 1991, the closest to O’Neal’s mark in over two decades. He booted the ball from the end zone, and like with O’Neal’s punt, the ball came to a stop at the 1-yard line. McCarthy’s strong leg fell short against Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills’ overwhelming offense, as the team lost 22-17.
3. 91 yards – Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia Eagles (1989)
With only 20 career punts in the NFL, it’s almost a shock that Cunningham – a quarterback – makes the list. And he had the qualifications, punting nearly 150 times during his time at UNLV. In a 24-17 win against the New York Giants, he booted the ball 91 yards and completed 9-of-16 passes for 140 yards. He ended his career with 207 passing touchdowns and fourth in quarterback rushing yards.
T-4. 90 yards – Rodney Williams, New York Giants (2001)
Williams played just one year in the NFL with the Giants but managed to launch a 90-yarder in one of his 91 punts. He joined the list in the first game of the NFL season – a 31-20 loss to the Broncos.
T-4. 90 yards – Don Chandler, Green Bay Packers (1965)
In his first season with the Packers, Chandler became the first player to boot a 90-yard punt. Besides two field goals, he punted the ball 90 yards against the San Francisco 49ers early in the 1965 season.
6. 89 yards – Luke Prestridge, New England Patriots (1984)
Unlike Chandler, Prestridge had his longest punt – an 89-yarder – during the last season of his career. In his single-season stint with the Patriots in ‘84, Prestridge joined the list in a 44-24 blowout loss against Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins.
- 7. 88 yards – Bob Waterfield, Los Angeles Rams (1948)
- T-8. 87 yards – David Finzer, Chicago Bears (1984)
- T-8. 87 yards – Bob Scarpitto, Boston Patriots (1968)
- 10. 86 yards – Larry Barnes, San Francisco 49ers (1957)
Longest Punts for Active Players
- 1. 83 yards – Bryan Anger, Dallas Cowboys (2022)
- 2. 82 yards – Corey Bojorquez, Green Bay Packers (2021)
- T-3. 79 yards – Rigoberto Sanchez, Indianapolis Colts (2021)
- T-3. 79 yards – Tress Way, Washington (2019)
- 5. 78 yards – Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams (2016)
Longest Punts in Playoff History
- T-1. 76 yards – Ed Danowski, New York Giants (1935)
- T-1. 76 yards – Mike Horan, Denver Broncos (1991)
- T-3. 72 yards – Charlie Conerly, New York Giants (1950)
- T-3. 72 yards – Yale Lary, Detroit Lions (1952)
Longest Punts in Super Bowl History
1. 65 yards – Johnny Hekker, Los Angeles Rams (2019)
In the lowest-scoring Super Bowl of all time, Hekker’s 65-yard punt set the NFL record for the longest punt in the championship’s history. The Rams converted on 3-of-13 third downs, resulting in nine punts for Hekker. And while he was able to launch one 65 yards, the Rams ended up losing 13-3 to Tom Brady’s Patriots as Jared Goff’s team was only able to score on a 42-yard field goal.
2. 64 yards – Ryan Allen, New England Patriots (2014)
Just four years before, Allen’s 64-yarder set the record for football’s longest Super Bowl punt. He punted four times for a total of 196 yards, helping the Patriots win the championship 28-24 against the Seattle Seahawks (and they became the second NFL team to win six Super Bowls).
3. 63 yards – Lee Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals (1988)
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