Harrison Butker chases rare perfect season for NFL kicker

The Kansas City Chiefs kicker is heading toward a very rare achievement if he can keep up the accuracy.

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

Coming into this season, the Kansas City Chiefs were already known for having two of the best specialists in all of football with kicker Harrison Butker and punter Tommy Townsend. Both players have been heralded for their combination of power and accuracy, and if money talks, the five-year contract extension given to Butker back in 2019 spoke volumes from the franchise about how much they value him.

The Chiefs might be ready to hitch their saddle to Butker for another few years at this point.

Butker is in the midst of a career year in Kansas City, a season in which he is hitting 100 percent of his marks two-thirds of the way through the regular season. It's a trajectory that has already placed him in rarefied air, and if he can complete the circuit, it's going to be a truly impressive accomplishment.

The Kansas City Chiefs kicker is heading toward a very rare achievement if he can keep up the accuracy.

Through Week 12 of the regular season, Butker has attempted and made all 20 field goals he's lined up to kick. That includes field goals of 52 yards (vs. Denver), 56 yards (@ Denver), and even 60 yards (again vs. Denver), proving that Butker's not just getting a series of chip shot attempts to stay accurate. Even the 60-yard FG was at Arrowhead.

Beyond that, Butker has also made all 28 of his extra point attempts this year—matching his perfect record from his rookie season back in 2017. Together with his field goal percentage, that places him along very select company in NFL history—that is, if we project the idea that he'll continue this streak.

Only five kickers in NFL history have ever made every single one of their field goal attempts (with 20 attempts minimum):

  1. Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis (2003) - 37/37 FG attempts
  2. Gary Anderson, Minnesota (1998) - 35/35 FG attempts
  3. Jason Myers, Seattle (2023) - 24/24 FG attempts
  4. Brandon Aubrey, Dallas (2023) - 22/22 FG attempts
  5. Harrison Butker, Kansas City (2023) - 20/20 FG attempts

From there, you can knock out two of the five competitors for having missed an extra point. Aubrey is having a great season for Dallas this year, but he's also missed three XPs for the Cowboys. Myers missed four for the Seahawks back in '20. That leaves Anderson and Vanderjagt as the lone kickers in NFL history with truly perfect seasons.

Here's what's amazing about what Butker is doing so far. Both Anderson and Vanderjagt made the majority of their kicking attempts from inside the comforts of a climate-controlled environment. Both the Vikings and the Colts played in domed stadiums in those days. Furthermore, Anderson's longest field goal in his record-setting year was 53 yards, and Vanderjagt didn't even attempt one beyond 50. Butker is already 10 yards beyond that and still perfect.

Moving beyond the history of such an achievement, it should be noted that Butker could not have picked a better season in which to come out as the most dependable facet of this team. In a year filled with close games and a sputtering offense, the Chiefs have been more dependent upon field position and tighter point differentials than ever before. Having such a positive asset in the kicking role has been a very significant boost for this year's Chiefs.

Let's be clear: Butker is not there just yet. The Chiefs travel to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday and have a handful of games left overall in the regular season, so there's a lot of football to be played. And the inclement conditions of the late-season wintry schedule might make things harder than ever. But so far this year, Butker has been a perfect performer for a team that needed it.