From the Branch


Bryant Ties Franchise Record with 59-Yard Field Goal

Posted Dec 6, 2016

Matt Bryant closed out the first half of Sunday's game by making the longest field goal in team history and one of the longest in his career.

Prior to every game, special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, K Matt Bryant and head coach Dan Quinn get together to discuss Bryant’s range on that day.

Last week, Armstrong and Bryant said they felt confident attempting a 58-yarder at the end of a half. They almost had a chance to execute that precise scenario: Following a nine-yard reception by Taylor Gabriel with two seconds left in the second quarter, the Falcons wound up at the Chiefs’ 42 – putting Atlanta exactly one yard outside Armstrong and Bryant’s comfort zone.

Quinn decided to take the chance anyways. And it paid off.

Bryant’s 59-yard try snuck over the crossbar – and over the head of Tyreek Hill, who was ready to return the ball if it fell short – giving the Falcons three crucial points and tying the record for longest field goal in team history. (Morten Andersen converted one from the same distance vs. San Francisco on Christmas Eve, 1995.)

The kick holds league-wide significance, as well: According to Pro Football Reference, Bryant’s 59-yarder is the longest NFL field goal ever made by someone older than 38.

“It’s a good feeling knowing when you get close to the 40 that you’ve got a real shot to go for it at the end of a half,” Quinn said Monday. “They put a returner back there; it was just right at the spot. I don’t know from where (the media) were sitting, but right when he hit it, I thought, ‘This thing has a chance to make it.’ Just the thump that he had.”

Bryant, 41, has made 27 of 29 FGs so far in 2016 – good for a 93.1 percent success rate. That is tied with the best FG percentage of his career, which he posted in 2011.