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Adam Vinatieri, oldest player in the NFL, shows no signs of age

Indianapolis Colts place kicker Vinatieri celebrates kicking a field goal against the New York Jets during their AFC Wild Card NFL playoff football game in Indianapolis Reuters

Athletes decline as they age. So it’s a bit shocking to see that the NFL’s oldest player is having what may be his best season.

Adam Vinatieri, the Colts kicker who will turn 41 in three weeks and is the league’s oldest player by 11 months over Washington punter Sav Rocca, is kicking as well as he ever has. Maybe better than he ever has.

Vinatieri is well known for a few big field goals at important times in big games, but on a week-in, week-out basis, his statistics were relatively pedestrian during his time in New England. That’s particularly true on long field goals: In his 10 seasons as the Patriots’ kicker, he made only eight field goals of 50 or more yards, in 17 attempts. But in Indianapolis in the last couple of years, Vinatieri seems to have lengthened his range. Last year he went 4-for-7 on field goals of 50 yards or more, and this year he’s 4-for-6. He’s also 11-for-12 from 40 to 49 yards, which matches his best season ever with the Patriots.

And no, it’s not just because he plays his home games in a dome now and played outdoors in New England: Three of his four 50-plus-yard field goals this season have been outdoors on the road.

The Colts’ website makes the case that this is Vinatieri’s best year, and there’s a good case to be made for it. Every athlete declines with age eventually, but for Vinatieri, 40 isn’t old.

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50 Responses to “Adam Vinatieri, oldest player in the NFL, shows no signs of age”
  1. bucnblood says: Dec 6, 2013 10:23 AM

    First off he is a kicker not a player, second off he is a kicker.

  2. patriotinvasion says: Dec 6, 2013 10:24 AM

    Still can’t believe he’s been in Indy nearly as long as he was in New England. Hall of Famer for his work from 2001-2004. A must-have 45 yarder in a blizzard laid the first brick of a Dynasty. 2 game winning Super Bowl field goals cemented his legacy. His ring in Indy in ’06 was just a bonus.

  3. gtrav says: Dec 6, 2013 10:24 AM

    Lot easier to kick FG’s in a nice cushy dome.

  4. olddirtytruth says: Dec 6, 2013 10:28 AM

    The guy is solid, he really is having a great year this season.

  5. iamozzie says: Dec 6, 2013 10:28 AM

    Best kicker in the league. Ozzie Knows!

  6. jnbnet says: Dec 6, 2013 10:28 AM

    nice kicking in a dome

  7. lawboy2000 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:28 AM

    Sounds suspicious to me.

  8. thestatsishere says: Dec 6, 2013 10:29 AM

    Always liked him. Good job!

  9. blue18hutthutt says: Dec 6, 2013 10:30 AM

    Whatever you think about kickers, there’s no doubt that Vinatieri is the most legendary of them all and deserves to be in the HoF for being the greatest ever at his position

    Without him Brady and Manning probably both have one less ring

    It is seriously just disgusting how automatic this guy is in a high-pressure situation – the only time I remember him missing a clutch kick was ironically a chip shot 25 yarder against the Chargers in 2007, and the following year he made a game-winner outdoors that was over 50 yards

  10. bennyb82 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:32 AM

    Well that makes me wonder…what is Aker’s excuse?

  11. brazzz01 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:33 AM

    Vinatieri in my opinion was the MVP of the 2001 playoffs and the Patriots 2001 Super Bowl postseason run.

    Those kicks in the snow were legendary. And obviously the game winner of Super Bowl 36, the only walk-off FG in Super Bowl history. As clutch a kicker as we’ll ever see in the NFL.

  12. ytsejamer1 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:33 AM

    Vinatieri is the man… Any NE fan that boos him is the most idiotic of any football fan, period. He’s always been a stand up guy…when things didn’t go his way, he always was up front and center. He’ll always have my gratitude and admiration.

    I think he may…err…SHOULD get into the HoF. Just his kicks in NE were enough to have that conversation. The fact that he continues to do it…in a dome or no, is an indication that this guy is a top notch football player. Hey…he chased down Herschel Walker!

  13. brazzz01 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:34 AM

    And how could I forget the game winner of Super Bowl 38….

    Any questions?

  14. dhardy8207 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:37 AM

    Not suprising a Kicker is the oldest NFL active player. Not saying their position is not important, many many games have been won by the last minute/second abilities (talents) of a kicker. Just simple fact they endure because they don’t get hit like other players…

    Nice to see him still out there kicking the pig skin around.

  15. nflofficeadmin says: Dec 6, 2013 10:38 AM

    Vintage!

  16. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:38 AM

    bucnblood says:

    First off he is a kicker not a player, second off he is a kicker.
    ________________

    Clueless statement. Vinatieri made many tackles of kick returners that broke through in his time with the Pats. Strong tackles not the pathetic attempts most kickers make.

  17. ddogdaddy says: Dec 6, 2013 10:42 AM

    When the discussion comes up on who is the better QB Peyton Manning or Tom Brady it usually comes down to who has the most rings. Fair enough I guess. Then you think how many rings has Brady won when his kicker was not named Vinatieri. Now ask yourself the same question about Manning. I am willing to wager that when Andrew Luck wins his first Super Bowl, his kicker will be Adam “money” Vinatieri.

  18. brazzz01 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:47 AM

    Gostkowski is a good kicker, but I’ll always wonder if Belichick would have sent Vinatieri out to kick that FG in Super Bowl 42 against the Giants instead of going for it on 4th and 13 without Vinatieri on the team.

    He would have made it too. Might have been the difference in the ballgame.

  19. ampats says: Dec 6, 2013 10:49 AM

    I remember taking my son and nephew to the Patriots camp during his rookie season. All I can say is what a nice and classy guy who actually spent a couple of moments talking to two young kids.

  20. ufanforreal says: Dec 6, 2013 10:50 AM

    gtrav says: Dec 6, 2013 10:24 AM

    Lot easier to kick FG’s in a nice cushy dome.

    jnbnet says: Dec 6, 2013 10:28 AM

    nice kicking in a dome
    ————————————————————

    “And no, it’s not just because he’s in a dome now and was outdoors in New England: Most of his 50-plus-yard field goals this season have been outdoors on the road.”

    Try reading the whole article.

  21. dontouchmyjunk says: Dec 6, 2013 10:50 AM

    And David Akers skill fell off a cliff at age 38. Go figure.

  22. snakeskinsoul says: Dec 6, 2013 10:50 AM

    1st Canseco, then McQuire and Clemens….NOW Vinatieri??? JK….he’s been one of the best

  23. stampnhawk says: Dec 6, 2013 10:55 AM

    Jinx is on now. In a month or so there will be an article on how unlikely it seems that Viniteri would miss a couple kicks at such an important moment after being so clutch.

  24. indytom87 says: Dec 6, 2013 10:56 AM

    He is a classy guy off the field as well. Polar opposite of Vanderjagt.

  25. schultzbrigade says: Dec 6, 2013 10:56 AM

    Same deal with Phil Dawson, he’s 39 and never been better.

  26. andrewluck12 says: Dec 6, 2013 11:01 AM

    vinatieri is that one common link between pats fans and colts fan where we all just actually agree about something lol. i think a big reason for his high production at 41 is the fact the colts use pat for kick offs and only calling on adam when need for the pat or fg. can’t believe hes already got the second most ammount of points in colts history

  27. marcuswelby70 says: Dec 6, 2013 11:08 AM

    One of the best “clutch” kickers of all time!

  28. mancave001 says: Dec 6, 2013 11:12 AM

    gtrav says:
    Dec 6, 2013 10:24 AM
    Lot easier to kick FG’s in a nice cushy dome.
    —————-

    Try reading the article. That point was addressed and accounted for.

  29. uwsptke says: Dec 6, 2013 11:15 AM

    Well that’s the PFT kiss of death. They were gushing over Akers after hitting a 63 yarder against Green Bay in the 2012 opener. How’s he done since then?

  30. usdcoyotesfan says: Dec 6, 2013 11:16 AM

    patriotinvasion says: Dec 6, 2013 10:24 AM

    Still can’t believe he’s been in Indy nearly as long as he was in New England. Hall of Famer for his work from 2001-2004. A must-have 45 yarder in a blizzard laid the first brick of a Dynasty
    ——————————————————–
    Nice try, but he shouldn’t have been able to kick that 45 yarder because Brady fumbled.

    BTW, I’m a neutral Packers fan.

  31. 63deuceman says: Dec 6, 2013 11:29 AM

    in 2008, Jason Hanson made 8-for-8 field goals from 50+, at age 38. Four seasons later in 2011, he made 5-for-7 from 50+ (at age 41).

    And nobody knew it because he played for an annual doormat.

  32. 44mpo says: Dec 6, 2013 11:30 AM

    Good for him. They all fall short of George Blanda though. Played until he was 46, sometimes even at Q.B. Very fond memories of Curt Gowdy calling a Raiders game on NBC and announcing “and now here comes Blanda out to try a 44 yard field goal to win it for the Raiders with 2 seconds remaining. The kick is up….. and it’s good!”

  33. rexryansdirtysock says: Dec 6, 2013 11:35 AM

    As a Patriots fan, it’s hard to even believe he’s been gone for eight seasons. Bill Belichick was certainly wrong if he thought he was on the decline.

    On the flip side, the Patriots do now have an excellent kicker in Stephen Gostkowski who has been tremendous in the clutch, including two 53 yarders against the Texans to tie and win in the 4th.

    Gostkowski’s success makes it that much easier to continue rooting for Adam. I think any resentment that existed there is now gone.

  34. tmarlin1221 says: Dec 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    shocking how don’t wear down when you aren’t allowed to get hit at all.

  35. skittlesareyum says: Dec 6, 2013 11:54 AM

    bucnblood says:
    Dec 6, 2013 10:23 AM
    First off he is a kicker not a player, second off he is a kicker.

    ——————–

    Let’s ask Brady and the Patriots from that era if they count him as a player.

  36. brazzz01 says: Dec 6, 2013 11:55 AM

    Nice try, but he shouldn’t have been able to kick that 45 yarder because Brady fumbled.

    ———–

    The tuck rule was called correctly by the book and either way it doesn’t take anything away from the kick whatsoever.

  37. patriotinvasion says: Dec 6, 2013 12:07 PM

    usdcoyotesfan says: Dec 6, 2013 11:16 AM

    Nice try, but he shouldn’t have been able to kick that 45 yarder because Brady fumbled.

    BTW, I’m a neutral Packers fan.
    ____

    People forget that the Pats weren’t in field goal range yet after the tuck rule call went their way. The Raiders defense still had a chance to stop them and couldn’t do it then or in OT for that matter. Regardless, Vinatieri was able to attempt the kick and made it.

  38. tmarlin1221 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:13 PM

    you mean kicking a football a few times a week doesn’t completely make your body break down ? Shocking !

  39. orivar says: Dec 6, 2013 12:27 PM

    “Well that makes me wonder…what is Aker’s excuse?”

    Injury and wear and tear. Akers was a lot my physical than Vinatieri, never afraid to tackle anybody.

  40. bigdaddy44 says: Dec 6, 2013 12:42 PM

    Most people don’t remember his greatest play, running Herschel Walker down from BEHIND on a kickoff, saving a touchdown.

  41. touchdownroddywhite says: Dec 6, 2013 12:51 PM

    How is Vinatieri more legendary than Mortenson who is the leagues all time scoring leader, having doubled the total points amassed by the great Jerry Rice?

    Also, his 4 of 7 50+ yd field goals equates to just about the same percentage as his 10 of 17 he hit in NE during, so what makes it so special?

  42. tformation says: Dec 6, 2013 1:03 PM

    Leaving the “greatest ever” arguments aside, it’s great to see a guy over 40 excel in the NFL.

    Respect to the clutch special teamers… wherever they play…

  43. besafewithit says: Dec 6, 2013 1:14 PM

    Vinatieri completely fails the smell test. After years of being dodgy from over 40 yards, he gets older and is now automatic from 50+? Come on guys, you’ve got to be pretty naive to think he’s not using something

  44. patfaninbflo says: Dec 6, 2013 1:16 PM

    bucnblood says:

    First off he is a kicker not a player, second off he is a kicker.

    ————————————————————–

    Obviously, you missed seeing AV as rookie chasing down and tackling Herschel Walker.

  45. thewiz37 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:17 PM

    “bigdaddy44 says:Dec 6, 2013 12:42 PM

    Most people don’t remember his greatest play, running Herschel Walker down from BEHIND on a kickoff, saving a touchdown.”

    ^^^^^I tried to post a video of that and my comment was deleted. Are we not allowed to post youtube videos here? Google “Vinatieri tackles Herschel Walker”

  46. mayers59 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:18 PM

    Good Lord, people still talking about the Tuck Rule. People, it was a rule then, it was correctly called then. It’s not a rule now. Best thing to happen was to get rid of it. Time to move on folks.

  47. 49erfan44 says: Dec 6, 2013 1:35 PM

    Tom Brady owes Adam a few steak dinners.

  48. gromit45 says: Dec 6, 2013 2:00 PM

    Well look at him. He’s an obvious ‘roider.

    (joking!)

  49. keltictim says: Dec 6, 2013 5:55 PM

    His numbers in NE were pedestrian by and large to the fact they didn’t need to kick that many FG. Why go for three when you get 7. Difference between the two teams.

  50. boyshole25 says: Dec 6, 2013 6:37 PM

    Clutch

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