In NFL history, there are just two kickers who attempted at least 20 field goals in a season and didn't miss once. In 1998, Vikings kicker Gary Anderson hit on 35-of-35 field goals and 59-of-59 extra point attempts. In 2003, Colts kicker Mike Vanderjagt hit on 37-of-37 field goals and 46-of-46 extra point attempts.
This year, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is closing in on joining that elite group. Through fifteen games, he is a perfect 28-of-28 on field goals and 47-of-47 on extra point tries. The Colts travel to Tennessee to play the Titans on Sunday in their regular season finale, and if Vinatieri doesn't miss a kick he will become just the third player in history to post a perfect season (with a minimum of 20 attempts). And on Sunday, Vinatieri - the oldest player in the NFL - turns 42 years old.
He's already established himself as the greatest clutch kicker in the history of the league - he established that back in the 2001 playoffs while still kicking for the Patriots when he made a 45-yard field goal in a blizzard to send the game to overtime. His foot has also booted two game-winning kicks in two different Super Bowls, and altogether he has four rings. While what he's done this year so far doesn't compare to those feats, he's having the finest statistical season of his 19 year NFL career - he's been perfect.
And if he doesn't miss on Sunday, Vinatieri - already perhaps the most decorated kicker in history - will join elite company with a perfect season. He's the oldest player in the league and old enough to be the father of some of the other players in the locker room, but he's been as good as ever this year. Actually, there's a strong case to be made that the 19-year veteran is better than ever.