So, why did Adam Vinatieri have such an up-and-down year last season? He was playing on a bad knee, but never once used it as an excuse:
With eight touchbacks through eight games [in 2008], Vinatieri would seem a lock for a career high. He had 10 in 2005 and 2006.
The difference, Vinatieri said, is health and emphasis. Vinatieri fought the lingering effects of a broken bone in his foot in 2006, then played last season with a left knee problem.
So, when he was kicking game-winning FGs against the Broncos and Ravens in 2006, Vinatieri was struggling with a BROKEN BONE in his foot. Last season, he fought his way through playing on a bad leg, and all many of us Colts fans did was bash him and say he was "done."
Now, he is healthy and booming kickoffs. He also just won AFC Special Teams Players of the Week for kicking his second, long, game-winning FG this season. His improved kicking is a big reason why the special teams have been so much better in 2008.
"[The touchbacks are] like a breather," special teams standout Melvin Bullitt said. "That's a 60-yard sprint, and it's almost like, 'Thank you, man. I'm going to have great field position and a little more energy for defense.' "
There is a reason I simply do not tolerate talk of replacing or cutting Adam Vinatieri. Name me one other kicker in this league who is tougher than Adam V? Name me one other kicker that is more clutch?
You can't. So don't bother.
Again, keep your playoffs chokers like Nate Kaeding. While other teams fight over the rights to 40-year-old Matt Stover, our guy kicks FGs and wins games with broken foot. Adam is this team's kicker, and that is exactly how it should be. Without Adam Vinatieri, this team would be 2-6 right now and we'd be talking draft; not fighting for the playoffs. I get really pissed when I see people bash Adam V, and now you know one of the reasons why.
We fans better appreciate how friggin awesome this guy is. He is a special, spceial player.