June 2, 2015

Highlighted Year: Kevin Butler, 1985

Placekicker, Chicago Bears

Age: 23
1st season in pro football
College: Georgia
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 190

Butler kicked 77 field goals in college, which was a SEC career record, and his 60-yard game-winning field goal against Clemson was one of 11 over fifty yards. He was chosen by the Bears in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL draft and beat out veteran Bob Thomas.

1985 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 31 [2, tied with Morten Andersen, 1st in NFC]
Most field goals, game – 4 at Minnesota 9/19, at San Francisco 10/13, at NY Jets 12/14
Field goal attempts – 37 [3]
Most field goal attempts, game – 6 at Minnesota 9/19
Field goal percentage – 83.8 [4]
PATs – 51 [2, tied with Bob Thomas]
PAT attempts – 51 [4]
Longest field goal – 46 yards at Dallas 11/17

Field Goals – 31
PATs – 51
Points – 144 [1]

Postseason: 3 G
Field goals – 4
Most field goals, game – 3 vs. New England, Super Bowl
Field goal attempts – 7
Most field goal attempts, game – 3 vs. NY Giants, NFC Divisional playoff; vs. New England, Super Bowl
PATs – 11
Most PATs, game – 5 vs. vs. New England, Super Bowl
PAT attempts – 11
Longest field goal – 34 yards vs. LA Rams, NFC Championship

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-NFL: NEA
2nd team All-NFC: UPI

Bears went 15-1 to finish first in the NFC Central with the conference’s best record while leading the NFC in scoring (456 points). Won NFC Divisional playoff over New York Giants (21-0), NFC Championship over Los Angeles Rams (24-0), and Super Bowl over New England Patriots (46-10).

After setting a rookie scoring record in 1985, Butler followed up in ‘86 by leading the league in field goal attempts (41) but he connected on only 28 of them as his percentage dropped due to slumps. However, he performed well in clutch situations and ended up staying with the Bears for 11 seasons, through 1995. He made good on 243 of 332 field goal tries (73.2 %) and added 387 extra points out of 397 attempts, scoring a total of 1116 points, all of which set club records. Released by the Bears, Butler spent his last two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, adding another 22 field goals and 26 extra points to give him career totals of 265 field goals, 413 PATs, and 1208 points. In 12 postseason games, he kicked another 17 field goals and 23 extra points, all with the Bears. Butler was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His son Drew has been a punter in the NFL.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970