Harrison Butker Comes Up Clutch in Debut

The rookie kicker hit three field goals, including the game winner, on Monday night

What a week for Harrison Butker.

Just seven days ago, the rookie kicker was still on the Carolina Panthers' practice squad simply trying to catch another team's eye.

A week later, he was tasked with kicking the game-winning field goal on Monday Night Football at Arrowhead Stadium.

"I felt confident," Butker said. "I knew it was going to come down to a field goal at the end. I felt pretty calm and hit the ball well."

Butker's 43-yard kick sailed through the uprights with mere seconds remaining on the clock to break the tie and effectively win the game for Kansas City.

It was Butker's third field goal of the night, making him the first Chiefs' kicker to ever connect on three or more kicks in his debut.

All three kicks came after the rookie missed his first attempt, a 46-yarder at the end of the first half.

Butker used the miss to set up his game-winner a few hours later.

"On the one I missed, I didn't factor for the wind enough, so that was really important," Butker said. "I wanted to aim right-middle. I got the practice kick in, and then I got to make it again."

The "practice kick" was courtesy of the Redskins, who called timeout just as Butker was about to kick.

"I heard him call the timeout, but I still went ahead and kicked it," Butker said. "After I made that, I just told myself to stay calm. I knew I could make it, just stay smooth. Then it came off my foot and it was in."

The Chiefs signed Butker last Tuesday following an injury to former kicker Cairo Santos.

The Georgia Tech product was drafted by Carolina in the seventh round (No. 233 overall) of the 2017 Draft, joining just two other kickers in the draft class.

He's the Yellow Jacket's all-time leading scorer, and hit his fair share of big kicks while on campus.

Those moments prepared him for Monday night.

"It just kind of brought me back to college," Butker said. "You don't get that opportunity every game, and luckily I made it. My emotions came out."

The performance impressed Chiefs' Head Coach Andy Reid, who didn't waver from his rookie kicker following the initial miss.

"I was confident because he was confident," Reid said. "I talked to him after the first miss and he told me he had it, it was just off by a tad. He gives you that feeling that everything is OK. He's a tough kid."

Reid's faith was rewarded with three successful kicks, including one when it mattered most.

"He did a nice job, I'll tell you," Reid said. "Welcome to Kansas City."

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