Adam Vinatieri is widely considered to be the greatest kicker in NFL history and will surely wind up in Canton as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day. The 43-year old is in his 21st NFL season, but here’s the craziest part: he’s actually kicking at a higher level than he ever has before.
He made five more field goals on Sunday, bringing his season total to 13 field goals made in 13 attempts. Furthermore, five of those kicks have been from beyond 50 yards out. He’s made 38 field goals in a row, dating back to last season. He’s made eight field goals in a row from 50+ yards out. All of that adds up to a pretty historic stretch of kicking for Vinatieri right now.
Consider the following:
- Adam Vinatieri has made 38 consecutive field goals, dating back to last season. That’s the longest of his career, as he passed his previous long of 35 today (set a couple of years ago). Not only is it the second-longest streak in Colts history, it’s also the third-longest in NFL history behind only Mike Vanderjagt (42) and Gary Anderson (40). It can easily be said that Vinatieri has been even better than those two during their field goal streaks, too: Vanderjagt had one make from 50+ yards and 12 makes from 40+ yards; Anderson had two makes from 50+ yards and 13 makes from 40+ yards; Vinatieri has nine makes from 50+ yards and 15 makes from 40+ yards. So it can actually be argued that Adam Vinatieri is in the midst of the most impressive kicking stretch in NFL history, from a certain point of view.
- Adam Vinatieri today set the Colts’ record for most consecutive 50+ yard kicks with eight, then later in the game added another one to run that record to nine. So Vinatieri has the most consecutive 50+ yard kicks in team history. Also very impressive.
- Adam Vinatieri is off to the fourth-best start to a season in his storied career, behind just 2014 (made his first 30 kicks), 1997 (made his first 17 kicks), and 2006 (made his first 15 kicks). So far this year, he’s made his first 13 kicks - and counting.
- Adam Vinatieri made five field goal attempts today, which was the sixth time in 342 career games that he’s made five field goals in a single game (and just the fifth time he’s done so while making every one of his attempts). He’s done it twice in the playoffs as well, so while it’s not unprecedented territory for him, it’s still very impressive.
- Dating back to week 16 of the 2013 NFL season, Adam Vinatieri has made 74 of his last 77 field goals (96.1%), including 12-of-13 kicks from 50+ yards. Of his last 100 field goal attempts (dating back to week six of the 2013 season), Vinatieri has made 94 of them.
Clearly, Adam Vinatieri is kicking at an insanely high level right now. “He’s just money,” head coach Chuck Pagano said after the game, going on to add that it is “incredible” what the kicker is doing right now at age 43. It is indeed incredible, and Vinatieri is kicking better than he ever has in a Hall of Fame-worthy career. In fact, he’s doing some historic things right now.