43 years old and still kicking, Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri’s folklore legend continues to grow of greatness for the future 1st ballot Hall of Famer.
Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri never ceases to amaze, as the 21-year veteran is seemingly getting better with age–like a fine wine full of greatness.
Consider that the 43 year old has now made 68 of 71 (95.8%) of field goals over the past 3 seasons. In fact, he’s made 38 field goals now in a row, which is the 3rd most all-time in NFL history behind former Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt–who once made 42 consecutive field goals.
When the Colts signed Vinatieri in 2006, there was talk that while the longtime New England Patriots clutch kicker was still one of the most accurate kickers in football, he had lost a little bit of his leg already on longer kicks.
However, how 10 years later, Vinatieri may in fact be better than ever as it relates to kicking the long ball (i.e. 50 yards or greater):
From 1999 to 2007 Adam Vinatieri made four 50+ yard field goals. Through five games this year Vinatieri has made five 50+ yard field goals.
Along with the Patriots Stephen Gostkowski and the Baltimore Ravens Justin Tucker–Pro Bowlers at least a decade younger, Vinatieri remains one of the best kickers in football.
Certainly, there’s no one in my mind more that I’d want kicking a football with the game on the line than Vinatieri, who’s made some of the most clutch kicks in NFL history and on the game’s biggest stages during prior Super Bowl wins.
Oct 9, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks a field goal against the Chicago Bears in the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Upon making a perfect 5 of 5 field goals including two field goals 53 yards or longer Sunday, Vinatieri was nothing but humble regarding his significant success so far this season:
“It’s flying well right now I don’t know,” said Vinatieri via the Indianapolis Star on Sunday. “I definitely have to give a lot of props to the guys up front blocking for me and Matt (Overton) and Pat (McAfee) are doing a fantastic job and making my job a little easier, but sometimes they go where they’re supposed to go.”
“So, I’m just happy I made all of the kicks today that I went in there for and helped us put some points on the board, and it was a good day.”
However, there’s no question that he’s been the Colts best player this season on a game-by-game basis–kicker or no kicker. While many areas of the Colts have struggled to start the season, Vinatieri as well as McAfee have the Colts special teams unit playing at an extremely high level once again:
“He’s still making 60-yard field goals in practice every day. It’s no problem,” said Colts punter Pat McAfee via Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star. “I think he wants to continue to be just a dominant force. Not just good for 43, not just good because he’s the greatest of all time. He wants to be the best in the game still, and it’s apparent every time he kicks a football.”
At this point, it’s a fair question of whether Vinatieri can still continue to kick at a high level even at least a few seasons from now.
Currently, 240 points behind legendary kicker Morten Andersen for the most NFL career points all-time at 3rd place, Vinatieri may very well obtain the cherry on top for his first-ballot Hall of Fame resume, which already includes being a 4x Super Bowl Champion, 3x 1st-Team All-Pro, and a 3x Pro Bowler:
“He’s the GOAT, man,” said longsnapper Matt Overton on Vinatieri–short for the ‘Greatest of All Time’. “He’s the GOAT, he really is.”