September 16, 2015

Highlighted Year: Jim Breech, 1981

Placekicker, Cincinnati Bengals

Age: 25
3rd season in pro football, 2nd with Bengals
College: California
Height: 5’6”   Weight: 157

Breech was successful on 50 of 80 field goal attempts in college, including 30 of 34 inside of 40 yards, and received All-Pac 8 honors in 1976 and ’77. He was chosen by the Detroit Lions in the eighth round of the 1978 NFL draft, was waived during the preseason, and then caught on with the Oakland Raiders in ’79. Breech was successful on 18 of 27 field goal tries and 41 of 45 extra points, but was again cut loose the following year. He signed on with Cincinnati during the 1980 season, the club’s third placekicker of the year, and while he appeared in just the last four games and kicked four field goals in seven attempts, two of them came in clutch situations.

1981 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 22 [7, tied with Jan Stenerud]
Most field goals, game – 3 at Atlanta 12/20
Field goal attempts – 32 [7, tied with Neil O’Donoghue]
Most field goal attempts, game – 4 at Atlanta 12/20
Field goal percentage – 68.8 [12]
PATs – 49 [3]
PAT attempts – 51 [2, tied with Mick Luckhurst]
Longest field goal – 51 yards vs. Houston 11/1

Field Goals – 22
PATs – 49
Points – 115 [3, tied with Nick Lowery, 1st in AFC]

Postseason: 3 G
Field goals – 2
Most field goals, game – 2 vs. San Diego, AFC Championship
Field goal attempts – 3
Most field goal attempts, game – 2 vs. San Diego, AFC Championship
PATs – 10
Most PATs, game – 4 vs. Buffalo, AFC Divisional playoff
PAT attempts – 10
Longest field goal – 38 yards vs. San Diego, AFC Championship

Bengals went 12-4 to finish first in the AFC Central with the conference’s best record. Won AFC Divisional playoff over Buffalo Bills (28-21) and AFC Championship over San Diego Chargers (27-7). Lost Super Bowl to San Francisco 49ers (26-21).

Breech went on to spend a total of 14 seasons with the Bengals. While not having great range, he was generally reliable inside of 40 yards. He co-led the AFC in field goals with 24 in 1987 and appeared in a second Super Bowl following the ’88 season. Over the course of a career that ended after the 1992 season, Breech kicked 243 field goals in 340 attempts (71.5%), with a franchise-record 225 in 313 tries coming with Cincinnati. Adding in 517 extra points, he accumulated a total of 1246 points. His 1151 with the Bengals also constitute a team career record, and he added another 9 field goals and 52 points in the postseason.  


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