This weekend, the Indianapolis Colts take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, if you hadn't heard. It's a big game for many reasons, first of which is that the Colts would advance to the Super Bowl with a win. But a current Colts player and former Patriot will set a notable NFL playoff record when he takes the field this weekend as well. Kicker Adam Vinatieri will play in his 30th career postseason game, breaking wide receiver Jerry Rice's record for most ever postseason games.
He played in 17 postseason games in ten years with the Patriots and will be playing in his 13th postseason game in nine years with the Colts - though at the same time, he missed the 2009 postseason while injured, so that doesn't even count toward this record. For the 42-year old Vinatieri, this is a testament to his longevity in the league and an impressive mark, to be sure.
He holds pretty much every postseason kicking record there is - the most points scored in postseason history, most field goals made, most field goal attempts, most point after attempts made, most consecutive games scoring, and he is tied for the most consecutive postseason games with a field goal made - a record he would hold for himself with a made field goal this Sunday. And, of course, he'll break Jerry Rice's record for most postseason games played as well.
In 29 postseason games, Vinatieri has hit 56 of 67 field goals (83.6%) and on 65 of 65 extra point attempts (100%). He has a number of game winning kicks in the playoffs, including in two Super Bowls. Overall, he has four Super Bowl rings, and his teams' record in AFC Championship games? A perfect 5-0 in the games he plays in, and a perfect 6-0 when on the team period (again, he was injured for part of the 2009 season, including the playoffs). With the Colts, he has hit 30 of 33 field goals in 12 postseason games (90.9%) and he has never missed multiple kicks in a single postseason with Indianapolis.
Earlier this week, we mentioned how Vinatieri talked about Indianapolis, saying that "this is home," and on Sunday he will play with the Colts against his former Patriots team, and in doing so he will set the NFL record for the most career postseason games played.