Jason Hanson named NFC special teams player of the week

AP

After a 4-for-4 day including the game-winning field goal in overtime, Lions kicker Jason Hanson has been named the NFC special teams player of the week.

Try this on for an impressive accomplishment for Hanson: This is his 12th player of the week award, most in Lions history, topping his old teammate Barry Sanders, who was the offensive player of the week 11 times. (The NFL started giving out player of the week awards for offense and defense in 1984 and for special teams in 1993. Hanson was the first NFC special teams player of the week in Week One of 1993.)

With four field goals and 14 points on Sunday, Hanson passed John Carney for No. 3 all time on both the all-time points list and all-time field goals list. Hanson has scored 2,062 points and kicked 479 field goals in his career, ranking behind Morten Andersen and Gary Anderson in both categories. Hanson also has nine career overtime field goals, tied for most in NFL history. (He would have 10 overtime field goal if not for the Lions’ bizarre Week Three mixup in which they eschewed a chip-shot overtime field goal in Tennessee and instead tried to draw the Titans offside, only to snap the ball and lose the game on a failed fourth down.)

Most people think of Adam Vinatieri as the current kicker who’d have the best case for the Hall of Fame, based on Vinatieri’s big kicks in big games. But kickers can only make big kicks in big games when their teammates give them opportunities, and the reason Vinatieri has had a lot more opportunities in big games than Hanson is that Vinatieri played most of his career with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as teammates, while Hanson played most of his career with Rodney Peete, Scott Mitchell, Charlie Batch, Joey Harrington and Jon Kitna as teammates. When you look at their full bodies of work you see that Hanson has made 82 more field goals than Vinatieri, and on long field goals it’s not even close: Hanson has made 51 of 91 field goals from 50 yards or longer, while Vinatieri has made just 15 of 29 field goals from 50 yards or longer.

If any current kicker belongs in the Hall of Fame, it’s Hanson.

14 responses to “Jason Hanson named NFC special teams player of the week

  1. I disagree. Hanson’s numbers are great and worthy of mention in the HOF, but he hasn’t made one memorable kick in a big game. He is clutch though.

    Vinateri shouldn’t be penalized for playing on teams with a good QB. Plus he has kicked in 6 Super Bowls! Hanson hasn’t even kicked in 6 playoff games. How players perform in meaningful games and playoffs defines their legacy. In many respects, Vinateri has had a better career.

  2. In Detroit, our team eras are defined by our Kickers. Hands down Jason Hanson is the best 2nd rounder in Lions history.

    It will be a sad day when the Jason Hanson era in Detroit is over.

  3. Hanson may be the only kicker in the NFL, where you expect him to make a FG EVERY time. I think people are more shocked when he misses a 50 yard attempt than when he makes them.

  4. “When you look at their full bodies of work you see that Hanson has made 82 more field goals than Vinatieri”

    Hanson has 4 more seasons that Vinatieri. They both avg around 28-29 attempts per season. Why not bring up the 4 season difference when throwing out numbers and saying look at their full bodies of work?

  5. Hanson is a class act, an “institutional cornerstone” in a sense, and as clutch of a kicker as it comes. He’s losing a bit of gas on his kickoffs now, but when it comes to field goals there isn’t a kicker in the NFL I would rather have lining up to kick the ball.

    As ridiculous as it sounds to retire the number of a kicker, I honestly hope that the Lions do that when Hanson retires. He deserves it.

    He also has every right to be in the HOF. To complain that he doesn’t have playoff wins or rings is ridiculous. HE’S A KICKER, not a QB! Look at the longevity of his career, his accuracy, and his range. Not how many games he has won. He deserves a damn bust in Canton just for putting up with how bad his team has been for so long!

  6. Hanson and Vinatieri should both be in the HOF, but won’t get there because there’ll be too many diva receivers to elect…

  7. B.S.———Hanson kicks INDOORS for 9 games year!!!!! That is eight home games and one in Minnesota , no wind and 70 degrees. Based on normal scheduling, he kicks outside in bad conditions maybe twice a year!!!!
    He would be long gone if he were kicking in GB or Chicago!!!!!

  8. On top of being one of the best kickers in the league, even at age 42, Jason Hanson has always been a class act.

    George Blanda stuck around for 26 seasons, so it will be interesting to see how long Hanson stays. I hope he’s in Detroit at least another 5-6 years.

  9. And let’s not forget that Cory ‘Sledge’ Schlesinger taught Hanson how to tackle.

    Ask any Lions fan, and they will tell you he’s made many, many TD saving tackles in his career.

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