The Chiefs finished the 2017 season in fitting fashion, with kicker Harrison Butker booting a game-winning 30-yard field to send Kansas City past Denver 27-24, putting a cap on one of the most prolific season for field goals in NFL history.
Butker finished the season with 38 field goals, putting him in a tie for the sixth-most field goals in a season.
Despite that gaudy accomplishment, Butker only finished tied for second for the most field goals made this season. Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein joined Butker 38 field goals in the league this season. They finished behind San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould with 39.
The record, however, comes with a tinge of regret. While Butker’s 90.5 percent success rate ranks fourth-best in team history, it also reflects on an offense that ranks 29th in the league in scoring touchdowns in the red zone.
Butker accomplished his feat despite missing the first three games of the season. Cairo Santos started the season a perfect three-for-three in field goals in the first three games before a hamstring injury sent him to injured reserved. The Chiefs signed Butker from the Carolina Panthers practice squad, and later released Santos.
Together Butker and Santos accounted for 41 field goals on the season. That put the Chiefs No. 3 on the NFL’s all-time list for most field goals in a season. The 2011 San Francisco 49ers hold the all-time record with 44 field goals followed by the 2005 Arizona Cardinals with 43.
The 38 field goals by Butker also establishes a new NFL record for rookie kickers. Two kickers shared the previous record of 35 field goals in a rookie season: Ali Haji-Sheikh for the New York Giants in 1983 and Blair Walsh for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012.