As NFL kickers continue to improve, 60-yard field goals are commonplace

Commanders kicker Joey Slye booted a 61-yard field goal on Sunday, and it's a sign of how good NFL kickers are getting that the kick didn't feel like any kind of unusual occurrence.

Slye was the fourth different kicker to hit a field goal from 60 yards or longer this season, joining Arizona's Matt Prater, Philadelphia's Jake Elliott and Kansas City's Harrison Butker. The 2023 season isn't even half over, and already there have been as many 60-yard field goals this year as there were in the entire 20th Century.

For NFL teams, the whole idea of what constitutes "field goal range" has changed in the last two decades. In 2004, the longest field goal in the NFL all year was 55 yards. In 2023, not even halfway through the season, there have already been 17 field goals of 56 yards or longer.

The standard NFL statistical categories have always shown kickers' success by distance, starting from less than 19 yards and up to 50 and beyond. But soon the stats should make 50-59 yards its own column and add a new column for 60 yards and longer. The 60-yard field goal is becoming commonplace.