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On This Date in Sports November 27, 1966: Rolling Up the Score

In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

A new NFL record is set as the Washington Redskins, and New York Giants combined for a record 113 points at DC Stadium. Most of the scoring comes on behalf of the Redskins, who set a regular-season record with 72 points in a 72-41 smashing of the Giants. As time expired, the last three points came with Charlie Gogolak's field goal, as Washington rolled up the score.

The New York Giants were a franchise in decline. Three years removed from making it to the NFL Championship Game six times in an eight-year stretch, the Giants were now the worst team in the NFL under Coach Allie Sherman. Gone was their once stout defense, as they allowed a record 501 in a 14-game season, averaging 35.8 points allowed per game. This included six games in which they allowed more than 40 points.

A big part of the Giants' diminished defense cutting Sam Huff after the 1963 season. Huff, a future Hall of Famer who was the Giants' heart and soul on defense, ended up on the rival Washington Redskins, and looked forward to every game, telling his coach Otto Graham not to show any mercy. The Redskins themselves were struggling as they were in the midst of a two-decade stretch of losing.

The Giants were the worst team in the NFL 1-8-1 entering the game for the second time at DC Stadium, while the Redskins were 5-6. The Giants' lone win had come five weeks earlier at Yankee Stadium when they beat the Washington 13-10. A.D. Whitfield put the Redskins on the board early, catching a five-yard pass from Sonny Jurgensen as Charlie Gogolak’s PAT was blocked. Whitfield and Jurgensen later connected on a 63-yard pass to make the score 13-0 at the end of the first quarter. Brig Owens scooped up a fumble in the second quarter and returned it 62 yards to make it 20-0. Allen Jacobs got the Giants back in the game with a six-yard run, but Washington’s onslaught continued with Whitfield scoring for the third time and Joe Don Looney scoring on a nine-yard run. Gary Wood scored for New York as the Redskins went into the half, holding a 34-14 lead.

Joe Morrison caught a 41-yard pass from Gary Wood in the third quarter, but the Redskins answered as Sonny Jurgensen hit Charley Taylor on a 32-yard touchdown pass. The Giants got another big play with Homer Jones and Wood connecting on a 50-yard touchdown. Jones completed it with his patented spike, which he had invented. The Redskins again answered with Taylor making a 74-yard reception to bring the score to 48-28. Things got worse for New York in the fourth quarter as Rickie Harris returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown, and Big Owens returned an interception 60 yards to make it 62-28. While the score was out of control, the Giants' offense continued their work as Aaron Thomas caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Tom Kennedy, as Pete Gogolak missed the PAT for the Giants, perhaps not to make his younger brother feel bad. Dan Lewis later scored for the Giants to make it 62-43. Showing no mercy as Sam Huff requested, the Redskins made it 69-41 on a 45-yard run by Bobby Mitchell. With time winding down, the Redskins rubbed the Giants' face in the mud one more time, calling timeout with seven seconds left to set up Charlie Gogolak for a 29-yard field goal. The field goal made the final score 72-41, setting a new record for most points in a regular-season game and the highest-scoring game in NFL history. Both records are still standing.

The Redskins would finish the 1966 season with a record of 7-7, ending a string of nine straight losing seasons. The Giants, meanwhile, finished what would be the worst year in franchise history at 1-12-1, which was worse than the expansion Atlanta Falcons, who finished 3-11 and got their first franchise win against.