Adam Vinatieri: Field goals over 50 yards should be worth four points


When Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri was a guest of Mike Florio’s on PFT Live during Super Bowl week, he said it would be a “crying shame” if the NFL wound up eliminating extra points.

He’s not the first kicker to come out against altering the extra point because kickers have become too successful at making them, but he also added a suggestion of a way to reward kickers for their abilities. Vinatieri said that field goals over 50 yards should be worth four points instead of three and discussed the potential for coaches to use strategy in order to try for a game-winning four-point kick rather than a tying kick from 47 yards out.

Vinatieri repeated his idea, one that feels off as it rewards a team for not driving deep into opposition territory, in an interview with the team’s website, adding that the improvement in kicking is a natural progression of the increased focus on training and preparation that kickers have done over the years.

“Kickers are just getting better. Back in the day, 30 or 40 years ago when football wasn’t a 12-month a year, guys are just getting stronger. They are just getting more focused in on being more accurate. Guys are doing a lot more in the weight room in terms of getting stronger,” Vinatieri said. “Percentages back in the 50s and 60s if you were 70 percent you were leading the league. Now, shoot, you got guys that don’t miss any or maybe miss just one or two kicks all season. I think it’s just a combination of a lot more snap, hold, kick work throughout the season to kind of fine tune.”

Vinatieri is coming off one of the best seasons of his career and the fact that he did it 18 years into his career is a good example of how training methods have improved over time. That should help Vinatieri, who is set to become a free agent in March, land a new contract in Indy or elsewhere for his 19th season and beyond even if his four-point field goal idea is unlikely to be adopted.

56 responses to “Adam Vinatieri: Field goals over 50 yards should be worth four points

  1. To me that sounds goofy. Yeah, it’s a more difficult kick, but it’s a difficulty penalty for not driving the ball further down field. If a team has a 45 yard attempt, do they purposely have a delay of game to get the extra 1 point on a FG attempt? Is a FG attempt less than 20 yards just 2 points?

  2. No. The benefit of a long field goal is that you were awarded 3 points for a play from nearly midfield that was pretty much uncontested unless a blocker screwed up. By that standard, a Marshawn Lynch rambling 80 yard TD that breaks 11 tackles should be worth 500 points.

  3. Leave the FG alone and make the “extra point try” from 30 yards out. If the winds a howling teams might go for 2 instead.

  4. I disagree with this premise. I think a FG from further out should be worth less than a FG from closer in. The reasoning is the team who advances the ball further should be awarded for progressing on their drive as opposed to some team that just crosses the 50. It would encourage teams to go for it on 4th down.

  5. Well of course a kicker wants higher value scores on kicking. That’s just his bias.

    The tiered scoring it self isn’t a horrible idea, but it’s going in the wrong direction. Field goals are so easy that the rules of the game need to evolve. Either make them more difficult or reduce their value.

    It is interesting to note that the NFL has changed the value of scoring before. A very long time ago, when the league was young, the tinkered with the value of both touchdowns and field goals. At one time, field goals were actually worth more than touchdowns.

  6. I wonder if he also thinks 80+ yard touchdowns should be worth more. They are difficult and far less frequent than 50 yard field goal tries.

  7. Teams should not be given the opportunity to score more points because they couldn’t drive the ball any closer. That’s just dumb. So a team worked their butt off drove down to the 10 yard line and stalled now won’t get the opportunity to score the same amount of points at the team that couldn’t move the ball? He’s not thinking of it from a kickers perspective and not how silly it is for the actual teams involved.

  8. Lowering the value of long FGs would screw with record books, we won’t see many FGs over 50 yards due to risk-reward. A team kicking a FG from essential PAT area should get penalized more then a team kicking a long bomb. If the team can’t drive the ball in the end zone from the 1-3 yard line in 3 tries then they don’t deserve 3 points. But a team who has a kicker that came kick 50+ has a nice return on their investment. That is why a kicker who gets cut to due struggles always get 2, 3, and more career attempts.

  9. He seems to be confusing concepts between fantasy football and real football. I’m all for kicks of 50 yards or more counting for 4 or 5 points in fantasy football. But don’t go trying to change these types of rules in real football. It would be far too easily manipulated. After all, do we want to watch football or soccer?

  10. Why should a team get additional points when it can’t drive past the other team’s 33 yard line. I can see it now. A team is down by 4 points and the QB takes a knee a couple times when his team gets to the 30 with a minute left to set up a field goal to tie it. Adam Vinatieri belongs in the HOF. This idea sucks though.

  11. What a joke. I would reduce field goals to two points because kickers have far to much impact in the modern game. Their accuracy and distance compared to bygone eras are off the charts and considering what kickers bring to the game they are just boring to watch. I want to see teams try to score TD’s not kickers lining up from 60 yards out.

  12. 1pt from 50+, 2pts from 40-49, 3pts from 30-39, 2pts from 20-29, 1pt from 10-19, zero inside 10 either take a sack to go for 1pt or go for it! Problem solved lol

  13. and reward a team for not moving the ball??? We might as well make the goal post like a dart board and if you hit it dead center reward the team with another point…

  14. I dont really have a problem with making adjustments to the kick game. Maybe the uprights need to be skinnier, making a kick more difficult. Maybe progressive values need to be added. Less than 25 yards is 1 point. 26-35 yards is 2 points. 36-45 is 3 points, etc.

    I disagree with the thought process “they should have tried harder to get closer to the end zone”. So a team that gets to the 30 can kick a field goal, but a team that gets to the 31 because of a poor spot by the officials, well they cant kick a field goal because their offense “sucks”… That is like saying a 3 point shot in basketball should be worth less, because who cares if it takes talent to shoot it from farther away, you should have just tried to get a lay up instead…
    Of all the stupid ideas the NFL has thrown around, this isnt really that high on the stupidity scale

    How exciting will the last 4 minutes of a game be, when a team is down by 6-8 points, and can kick field goals for 3 and 4 point values, followed by an onside kick. Too many times you see a team with 7-10 point lead play that lazy BS defense, not trying to stop the opponent, just trying to slow them down enough to make them run out of time. That defense cant be used anymore. You have to play hard for 60 minutes

  15. The height of the field goal posts need to be extended by about 10 feet.

    How many times did you see a kick go directly over the top of the field goal posts this season? It had to have happened 20+ times.

    When it does happen the refs basically just guess, because there’s nothing else they can do.

    I have no clue why this hasn’t been addressed and why no one talks about it, besides Adam Carolla. Carolla has been banging this drum for a long time.

  16. There is an answer here somewhere. I’d like to see more drama and strategy in the kicking game. More points? Less points? Penalty for missing? I don’t know yet but it sure is worth the debate.

  17. They should adopt the rugby rule for conversions.

    In rugby, the kicker has to spot the ball in line with where the ball crossed the goal line for the TD. He can go back as far as he wants, but if the ball carrier scored near the corner of the end zone, that’s the angle the kicker needs to try the conversion from.

    And it also has to be attempted by someone who was on the field during the try (rugby talk for TD).

    That would be fun.

  18. How about we get rid of kickers, or specialist kickers altogether? Make a regular player kick the ball. Someone that has been playing a certain number of minutes of the game, or the season. We could get rid of punters and kickers, most of whom aren’t real football players anyway. Field goals wouldn’t be so automatic, and punts would become an adventure. Coaches might take more chances on fourth down, and owners could pay a real player more once money is freed up by getting rid of kicking specialists.

  19. If you really want to change the scoring for field goals, how about something radical. Make it dependent on which down the field goal is kicked. You start of with four points, if you kick it on first down, it’s worth 4 points, 3 points on 2nd down, 2 points on 3rd down, and 1 point on 4th down. Teams will be less likely to be conservative with the playcalling because they have to score touchdowns to put any real points on the board.

  20. Silly idea. Can you imagine a team down by four with just seconds on the clock and the other team lets the running back get inside the 30 to take away the possibility of a four point kick? On the next snap, the quarterback hands off to the running back who runs backwards 7 yards and goes out of bounds to put the 4 point kick back in play.

  21. Why stop at 4pts for the distance. Why not have some computers generate the point value based on factoring in distance, height of stadium relative to the ocean, wind speed (and direction relative to kick), temperature, humitity, and barometric pressure?
    They could have a new addition to the scoreboard that updates the value for each down if a fieldgoal were to be kicked.

  22. 1 – 20 yards – 1 point
    21 – 30 yards – 2 points
    31 – 49 yards – 3 points
    50 – 59 yards – 4 points
    60+ – 5 points

    More teams going for it on 4th in the red zone. Strong legged kickers making more money.
    Vegas odds would even change depending on kickers.

  23. I think all levels of football should eliminate place kicking altogether. A 3-point scoring play for a kick should remain, but the kick should be a punt through the uprights.

    A punter (unlike a place kicker) is a “real” football player: he has to catch what is essentially a 10 yard pass, and commonly has to be able to tackle a punt returner.

    If you eliminate the place-kick and replace it with a punt through the uprights, it makes a long attempt much more difficult, and rewards a team who has driven the ball deep into the opponent’s territory with a higher percentage scoring attempt.

  24. In 1978, Steelers kicker Roy Gerela made just 12 of 28 field goals, which went basically unnoticed because those Steelers actually scored, you know, touchdowns.

  25. That’s as stupid as getting one point for a kick out of bounds. Oops, sorry Canada.

    It doesn’t make sense, because a 50+ yard fg in Denver is much easier to obtain than one in frigid GB or Philadelphia. Heck, they couldn’t even kick an extra point in the Snow Bowl between Philly and Detroit this year.

    As long as points are considered in Tie-Breakers, stuff like this needs to be considered with a grain of salt.

  26. The % of 50 yarders is pretty high nowadays. A lot of kickers hit that with some degree of regularity.

    As noted by others, it’d be odd to create an incentive to lose chunks of yardage.

    (1) Say Team A kicks a field goal to lead Team B, 20-17.
    (2) Then, say Team B returns the kickoff back to Team A’s 18 yard line – leaving say 10 seconds on the clock.
    (3) Because a 50 yard FG, under normal conditions, has a much higher likelihood of success than an 18 yard touchdown play — the obvious incentive would be for Team B to take the snap and sprint backwards 15 yards to make sure they get the ball BACK to Team A’s 33 yard line.

    That’s just one of many counter-intuitive quarks many would find unacceptable.

  27. I’m against that because it ruins those 4th quarter drives where you’re down by 4 and NEED to get a TD.

    Plus, it’d be insanity. Teams down by three trying to get it just to the 33 yard line to make it close to 50 yards. Just backwards thinking to me. The objective is to get closer not farther!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!