It’s records week at SB Nation, so this morning we asked you to name your favorite Kansas City Chiefs record.
What is your favorite #Chiefs record in franchise history?— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) June 25, 2018
(No, not 13-3; accomplishments)
There is Priest Holmes’ 27 rushing touchdowns in 2003 that broke the then-NFL record for such scores in a single season. There is the late great Derrick Thomas, who recorded 126.5 sacks, the franchise record, over his 11-year NFL career. The next closest Chief to Thomas is Tamba Hali, who presumably finished his Chiefs career with 89.5.
Then there’s the noise record. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Arrowhead Stadium is home to the loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium, at 142.2 decibels, as recorded on Monday night, September 29, 2014.
But the record, or I should say, records, I want to bring some deserved light to are those of Harrison Butker from the 2017 season. It’s a well-known tale by now in Kansas City, but what transpired last year from a personnel move, then results standpoint was unprecedented.
Last season, Cairo Santos had been dealing with a groin injury, and it worsened during the Chiefs Week 3 win against the Los Angeles Chargers. With Santos on injured reserve, the Chiefs signed Harrison Butker off of the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad.
Butker had originally been a 2017 seventh-round pick, but the Panthers still had Graham Gano, who they used instead. Butker being on the practice squad made him eligible for any other team to sign.
A week later, the Chiefs released Santos, an extremely bold move considering you could argue at the time Santos was the greatest kicker in franchise history. Santos finished his Chiefs career with an 84.8 field-goal percentage, higher than any Chiefs kicker in history with 50 attempts or more. Better than Jan Stenerud, Ryan Succop and Pete Stoyanovich.
In addition, to that point in the 2017 season, Santos had made all three of his field goal attempts and all 12 of his extra point attempts.
But Brett Veach, Uncle Dave and the Chiefs trusted their gut.
And what they got was rookie magic, and records on records.
After missing his first career kick, Butker made 23 in a row, his first of many franchise records. He would finish the season 38 of 42 and set the following records with three less games to do so:
- Most field goals in NFL history made by a rookie: 38
Chiefs franchise records
- Most field goals made, season: 38
- Most field goals attempted by a rookie: 42
- Most points by a rookie: 143
- Most points by a kicker, season: 142
- Highest field goal percentage by a rookie (min. 20 attempts): 90.5 percent
- Most games with 2-plus field goals made, season (tied with three other kickers): 10
- Most games with three-plus field goals made, season: 8
- Most games with four-plus field goals made, season: 4
- Most games with five-plus field goals made, season: 3
There is one wrinkle to the Butker story that cannot go unmentioned, and that’s the 48-yard miss in the divisional round matchup in the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs ultimately lost the game, 22-21, but a lot went wrong in the game, Butker’s miss on his only attempt being one of them.
One of the more amazing, untold stories of the 2017 season is what Butker was able to accomplish record-wise given the fact that he had three less games to do so.