The modern NFL is all about points.
Gone are the days of smash-mouth defense, as the game has evolved to favor offenses. Officiating changes have only helped to bolster scoring, with increased calls for roughing the passer and pass interference. And teams are throwing the ball more than ever, which only adds to the point totals.
Thursday’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers features two of the most prolific offenses in the league. With Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert squaring off, there’s bound to be a lot of points put up between these two teams.
That said, the record for most points in an NFL game has stood for over 50 years. Which teams helped set that scoring record? Let’s dive into it.
Here are the five highest-scoring games in NFL history, which all surpassed 100 points:
113 points: Washington 72, Giants 41 (Nov. 27, 1966)
Not only is this the highest-combined point total in NFL history, Washington also set the record for most points in a regular season game by a single team. The Giants had six turnovers, handing Washington three non-offensive touchdowns (interception return, fumble return, punt return). Washington quarterback Sonny Jurgensen had three touchdowns while completing 10 of 16 passes.
106 points: Bengals 58, Browns 48 (Nov. 28, 2004)
These two Ohio rivals had a combined 12-20 record in 2004, but they still delivered the second-highest-scoring game of all-time. Browns quarterback Kelly Holcomb was 30 of 39 for five touchdowns, while Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer finished 22 of 29 with four scores. Antonio Bryant (eight receptions, 131 yards, 2 TDs) and Chad Johnson (10 receptions, 117 yards, 1 TD) were the star receivers for Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively.
105 points: Rams 54, Chiefs 51 (Nov. 19, 2018)
Who could forget this Monday night shootout? The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (33 of 46, 478 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs) and Rams’ Jared Goff (31 of 49, 413 yards, 4 TDs) shined on the big stage. Los Angeles’ defense ultimately made the difference, forcing five turnovers and totaling five sacks of Mahomes (Aaron Donald had two sacks and two forced fumbles). The Chiefs and Rams will meet for the first time since this game in Week 12 of the 2022 season.
— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2019
101 points: Raiders 52, Oilers 49 (Dec. 22, 1963)
This was the first game to total over 100 points. This game had a modern feel despite it happening nearly 60 years ago, with 11 combined passing touchdowns and just two combined rushing scores. Future Hall of Famers George Blanda (5 TDs) and Tom Flores (6 TDs) led the Oilers and Raiders, respectively. There were six ties and five lead changes in this back-and-forth affair, which ended with a 39-yard game-winning field goal by Mike Mercer.
101 points: Saints 52, Giants 49 (Nov. 1, 2015)
The Saints scored 10 points in the final 36 seconds to win this game, and that was after New Orleans blew a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter. So, yeah, this game was chaotic. Quarterbacks Eli Manning (350 yards, 6 TDs) and Drew Brees (502 yards, 7 TDs) were toying with the defenses all afternoon, as the squads combined for 852 passing yards and just 190 rushing yards. Kai Forbath won it for New Orleans with a 50-yard field goal as time expired.