Long-distance field goals are among the game’s most fascinating moments. One man’s leg and the power behind each strike have a significant influence on the game of football and in some cases can decide the outcome of an NFL contest.
When thinking of these kicks, we often associate the length to 50 yards or more, with rare instances of 60+ yard field goals making their way into NFL highlight reels. For the Houston Texans, their longest kick fits into the latter.
In a week 14 contest against the Seattle Seahawks during the 2021 season, kicker Kai’imi Fairbairn etched his name into the team's history books. The now 29-year-old booted a franchise-record 61-yard kick through the uprights.
Down 16-10 with time winding down in the first half, then Houston Texans head coach David Culley had two options in the final seconds, trot Fairbairn out there to attempt a previously unattempted feat, or opt for a Hail Mary prayer from quarterback Davis Mills to try and score a much-needed touchdown. The Texans opted for the field goal attempt.
No Houston Texans kicker had ever attempted a field goal from 60 yards or further before this moment and Fairbairn quickly made the decision look like the right one. After a solid snap and hold, Fairbairn left no doubt about the result of the attempt, delivering the perfect blend of power and accuracy to cut the Seahawks' lead to three going into halftime.
Unfortunately for Texans fans, this moment in history was not enough to rally a victory, leaving the Houston Texans with yet another defeat to bring their record to 2-11. Though not finishing strong surely hurts, it is not every day that you witness field goals of that distance, and Fairbairn’s moment in history will not be quickly forgotten in the mix.