Chiefs rookie kicker glad record-breaking kick behind him

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It took just eight games as a Kansas City Chief for kicker Harrison Butker to notch the franchise record for most consecutive field goals, but the rookie seems more relieved to have the record-breaking kick behind him than ready to break out the champagne.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker celebrates a field goal against the Buffalo Bills that gave him the club record for most consecutive field goals made with 23 in a row. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

“It feels good,” Butker said. “I’ve been kicking well so I’m happy about that. When the season’s over I’ll probably look back the record and all that stuff but for right now I’m just focused on the next kick and next game.”

His 45-yard field goal Sunday late in the first half made it 23 in a row for the rookie. That broke the club record of 22 straight field goals made set by Pete Stoyanovich over the 1997-98 seasons and matched by Ryan Succop in 2011.

Butker tries not to obsess over his own statistics. He did not how close he stood to the franchise record until pregame warm ups against Buffalo on Sunday.

“I knew I was close leading up to,” Butker said. “Then before the start of the game just on the video screen it talked about how I was tied with the record, so I was like, ‘Okay, I know the next kick I make I’ll break the record.’”

Despite his attempt to set the record aside, knowing the kick gave him the record added some pressure to the kick.

“I wasn’t trying to think about it but it definitely was in my head so I’m glad I got that over with,” Butker said. “Now every kick’s just a normal kick. But there probably was a little bit more pressure on making that record-breaking kick but glad I got that over with.”

Butker now sits at 23 of 24 on the season in field goal attempts. Among kickers with more than 10 attempts on the season, Butker stands atop the league with a 95.8 percent success rate. That’s tied with Carolina kicker Graham Gano, with whom Butker competed for the Panthers kicking job during training camp.

The early careers success comes as a surprise even to Butker. While he finished his college career as the Georgia Tech’s all-time leading scorer with 337 points and 208 extra points, he completed just 43 of 60  field goal attempts in four seasons.

“I’m almost half that,” Butker said of his short NFL career so far. “It’s crazy.”

While Butker appreciates clinching the record, he hopes he can enjoy the success more after the season ends. Right the Chiefs losing skid remains foremost on his mind.

“Maybe that’s why I’m not as happy about the record because the team’s not winning,” Butker said. “But I’m just trying to do everything I can to help the team win and I know we’re going to sit together and fight through this and end up at a place that we like by the end of the season.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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