March 29, 2016

Highlighted Year: Cary Blanchard, 1996

Placekicker, Indianapolis Colts

Age:  28 (Nov. 5)
4th season in pro football, 2nd with Colts
College: Oklahoma State
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 227

Blanchard scored 312 points in college, where he handled both placekicking and punting, and set a NCAA season record with 67 consecutive extra points in 1988. Undrafted in 1991, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys but was cut prior to the season. Blanchard spent the spring of ’92 with the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF, connecting on 5 of 8 field goal attempts and all 17 of his PATs, and then caught on with New Orleans in the NFL, when he was on the practice squad for two games and activated for one due to concerns over an injury to star PK Morten Andersen, but the Saints waived him and he was picked up by the New York Jets. In two years with the Jets, he kicked 33 field goals out of 48 attempts (68.8 %) and made good on all 48 of his tries for extra points. However, the arrival of veteran Nick Lowery led to his being let go by the Jets in 1994 and, while he signed with Minnesota, was waived by the Vikings during the preseason. Blanchard joined the Colts six games into the 1995 season, replacing Mike Cofer, and made 19 of 24 field goal attempts plus 25 PATs, and displayed improved leg strength.

1996 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 36 [2, 1st in AFC]
Most field goals, game – 4 at Dallas 9/15, vs. San Diego 11/3, vs. NY Jets 11/17
Field goal attempts – 40 [2]
Most field goal attempts, game – 4 on five occasions
Field goal percentage – 90.0 [1]
PATs – 27
PAT attempts – 27
Longest field goal – 52 yards at Dallas 9/15

Field Goals – 36
PATs – 27
Points – 135 [2, 1st in AFC]

Postseason: 1 G (AFC Wild Card playoff at Pittsburgh)
Field goals – 0
Field goal attempts – 0
PATs – 2
PAT attempts – 2

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-AFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Colts went 9-7 to finish third in the AFC East but qualified for a Wild Card spot in the postseason. Lost Wild Card playoff to Pittsburgh Steelers (42-14).  

Blanchard spent one more season with the Colts in 1997, but faltered as he connected on 32 of a league-high 41 field goal attempts that included some critical misses. He lost out to Mike Vanderjagt in the ’98 preseason and saw action that year with Washington, moving on to stints with the Giants and Cardinals before his career ended in 2000. Overall, Blanchard was successful on 165 of 214 field goal attempts (77.1 %) and added 188 extra points with just two misses to score a total of 683 points. His best seasons were with the Colts, where he was 87-of-105 on field goals (82.9 %) and made all 73 of his PATs.


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