April 16, 2016

Highlighted Year: John Carney, 2008

Placekicker, New York Giants

Age: 44
21st season in pro football, 1st with Giants
College: Notre Dame
Height: 5’11” Weight: 180

Carney kicked 51 field goals in college and set a Notre Dame season record with his 89.5 percentage in 1984 (17 of 19). He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1987 but failed to make the team and sat out the year. Carney finished out the last four games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1988, substituting for the injured Donald Igwebuike, and started the year in ’89, playing in a total of five games and making good on two of five field goal attempts and all six of his PAT attempts. After failing to make the Chargers during the 1990 preseason, he appeared in one game with the Rams and was then re-signed by San Diego, succeeding on 19 of 21 field goal attempts. Following a lesser year in ’91, Carney bounced back to play a total of 10 full seasons with the Chargers. Highlights included hitting on 31 of 40 field goal tries in 1993, with two games in which he kicked six field goals in as many attempts, and a 1994 season in which he led the NFL with 34 field goals, out of just 38 attempts, as well as totaling a league-leading 135 points. Carney was a consensus first-team All-NFL choice that year and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Carney departed following the 2000 season as the club’s all-time leader in field goals (261) and scoring (1076 points). While not strong on kickoffs, and with concerns about his range, he joined the New Orleans Saints in 2001 and stayed for six years, providing reliability if not long distance. Carney split time with the Jaguars and Chiefs in 2007 before moving on to the New York Giants in ’08 after regular PK Lawrence Tynes was sidelined by injury.

2008 Season Summary
Appeared in 15 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 35 [2, 1st in NFC]
Most field goals, game – 4 vs. Cincinnati 9/21, at Pittsburgh 10/26, at Minnesota 12/28
Field goal attempts – 38 [3, tied with Matt Bryant & Rian Lindell]
Most field goal attempts, game – 5 at Minnesota 12/28
Field goal percentage – 92.1 [4]
PATs – 38 [17]
PAT attempts – 38 [17]
Longest field goal – 51 yards at Minnesota 12/28

Field Goals – 35
PATs – 38
Points – 143 [3]

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Divisional playoff vs. Philadelphia)
Field goals – 3
Field goal attempts – 5
PATs – 0
PAT attempts – 0
Longest field goal – 36 yards

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-NFL: AP
Pro Bowl

Giants went 12-4 to finish first in the NFC East while leading the NFL in rushing yards (2518). Lost NFC Divisional playoff to Philadelphia Eagles (23-11).  

With the younger, and stronger-legged, Lawrence Tynes recovered from his injury, Carney’s contract was not renewed by the Giants and he spent parts of the 2009 and ’10 seasons back with the Saints, finishing his 23-year career at 46 years old. Overall, Carney kicked 478 field goals in 580 attempts (82.4 %) and added 628 extra points (with 10 misses) for a total of 2062 points. At the time of his retirement, the field goal and point totals ranked third all-time in NFL history. He received first-team All-NFL recognition once, second-team honors twice, and was chosen to two Pro Bowls. Carney was named to the Chargers’ 50th anniversary all-time team.


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