On Sunday, 43-year old kicker Adam Vinatieri set a new NFL record by making his 43rd straight field goal, passing Mike Vanderjagt for the most all-time.
Vinatieri had already passed Gary Anderson for the third-most in history, and then on Sunday tied and later broke Vanderjagt’s mark. The current Colts kicker gave praise to the other two, however, as he marveled at his new record after the game on Sunday.
“You know, there’s a lot of good kickers out there that have played a lot of games,” Vinatieri said, “and obviously Mike Vanderjagt held the record and I can’t say enough about him – one of the most accurate kickers of all-time. So, you know, Gary Anderson was the other one that was right there too. I have huge admiration and respect for those guys and everybody else too. I never really think about and concern myself with personal goals and personal records and stuff. For me, I’m happy that we won the game and that this is a little bit to go along with it. I’m sure I’ll sit back some day down the road and enjoy it but just very excited that we got a win today.”
The Colts won 34-26 over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, which was in a way fitting. The longest streak of Vinatieri’s career prior to his current one was a run of 35 straight makes, including 30 in a row to open the 2014 season. But in the final regular season game, a road contest against the Titans, on Vinatieri’s final kick of the year he missed it left. “Trust me, I remember that one,” he told the media after Sunday’s game. This time, however, he set the league record in that very stadium.
It’s a heck of an accomplishment for the future Hall of Famer, but in typical Vinatieri fashion he deflected the credit to others: long snapper Matt Overton, punter Pat McAfee, and the rest of the team.
“I was excited to have the opportunities,” he said. “It never hurts to have short, chip shot field goals too, but there’s been some long ones throughout the thing. You know, I can’t say enough good stuff about the guys up front. They’re so unselfish and getting up there and blocking well and Matt and Pat do such a good job. You know, it’s really 11 guys that accomplish that goal. Well, it’s not, it’s about 45 guys that have helped fill in and do parts of that. I’m just happy they’ve all gone through and hopefully we can keep it going.”
As Vinatieri mentioned, there have been some long kicks thrown in during the streak. In fact, he’s made nine field goals of 50+ yards during his current streak, which is seven more than Vanderjagt made during his streak years ago. And Vinatieri’s average distance on his kicks (40 yards) dwarfs Vanderjagt’s average distance (32.7 yards), according to FOX59’s Mike Chappell. It’s an incredibly impressive streak in an incredibly impressive career, and though he tried to give the credit to his teammates, those same teammates took the time to congratulate him on social media after the game.
And despite being the oldest player in the NFL at 43 years old, Vinatieri is still kicking better than ever.
“You know, age to me, is nothing but a number really,” he said. “Honestly, I’m a fairly competitive guy. I like surrounding myself with the young guys in the locker room and I take it to heart like everybody else does. We all want to do our job. We all want to do our job well and, you know, sometime the ball flies well. You know, I’m just very fortunate. Like I said, I can’t say enough good stuff about Matt and Pat and the guys up front. They make my job easier and they calm me down on the field and all that stuff. All the kudos in the world to those guys.”
That’s typical Adam Vinatieri: making field goals, breaking records, and staying humble in the process.