Missing kicks in the playoffs is nothing new for Adam Vinatieri

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When Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field goal on Saturday in Kansas City, people were shocked: How could the great Vinatieri miss an easy pick in a big game?

Actually, no one should have been surprised. Vinatieri does it a lot.

Although Vinatieri is best known for his big kicks in big games, including in the snow in the “Tuck Rule” game and two Super Bowl game-winners, Vinatieri has been wildly inconsistent in the postseason and has actually been a below-average kicker in the playoffs over the whole of his 23-year career.

Since Vinatieri entered the NFL in 1996, he is one of 35 kickers who have attempted at least 10 postseason field goals. Of those 35, Vinatieri ranks just 22nd in field goal percentage.

Vinatieri is 56-for-69 in the playoffs in his career, and while it’s nice that he’s lasted long enough and played for good enough teams to attempt 69 postseason field goals, that’s an accuracy rate of just 81 percent. That really isn’t very good by modern kicker standards.

Plenty of today’s kickers have been more accurate in the postseason than Vinatieri: The much-maligned Steelers kicker Chris Boswell is 15-for-15 in the playoffs. Denver’s Brandon McManus is 10-for-10 in the playoffs. Stephen Hauschka is 20-for-21 in the playoffs. Matt Bryant is 14-for-15 in the playoffs. Justin Tucker is 9-for-10 in the playoffs. Mason Crosby is 26-for-29 in the playoffs. Vinatieri’s successor in New England, Stephen Gostkowski, is 34-for-38 in the playoffs.

Fortunately for Vinatieri, the kicks we remember are the famous ones. The Tuck Rule and the two Super Bowl game-winners will always be the first kicks that people remember about Vinatieri. And his incredible longevity while playing for good teams make him likely to end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame some day. But when that day comes, we ought to consider his entire record. That includes some great kicks, but also some misses that other kickers would have made.

30 responses to “Missing kicks in the playoffs is nothing new for Adam Vinatieri

  1. He gets credit for winning the Super Bowl for the Patriots Vs the Panthers but most forget he was only 1 for 3 in FG with a miss and a block in that game.

    Still the GOAT at what he does though.

  2. A legend of the game, but yesterday it looked like it might be time to head off to Football Val Halla

  3. The true MVP of the Patriots first Super Bowl.

    Not Brady who didn’t even have 100 yards passing until that last drive.

  4. Three of the most important made FG of all-time.

    “Below average” kicker.

    Still not as incredible as the fact that Eli Manning has 2 Super Bowl rings and MVPs.

  5. I’m seeing other Patriots fans in this thread also defending Adam V. He can do no wrong in our eyes. Ever.

  6. What Brady did in his first Super Bowl win is stuff of legend! And people forget that Brady brought the teams to victory in the SB even with Vinitari MISSES!! Credit Brady, NOT Vinitari

  7. Braz says: January 13, 2019 at 7:32 am
    “The true MVP of the Patriots first Super Bowl.”

    ==============

    You cannot name an MVP based on a single play, not Vinateri, not Malcolm Butler either. It has be a series of plays that created the opportunity for the team to win, that is, Tom Brady. If Brady didn’t make the drive in crunch time to set up the kick, there would be no trophy. I simply don’t understand why people can’t grasp that!

    It is a legitimate argument for Edelman to be MVP in SB 49 and White in SB 51. But there’s no denying Brady’s importance in winning those games. So stop with these anti-Brady nonsense and I’m not even a Pats fan!

  8. “The true MVP of the Patriots first Super Bowl.

    Not Brady who didn’t even have 100 yards passing until that last drive.”

    The envy directed at the Patriots and Tom Brady never ceases to amaze me. Brady and the Patriots got the ball with 1:21 left in the 4th quarter and needed to gain at least 50 yards to set up a field goal chance. John Madden, announcing the game, said the Patriots and their young QB should sit on the ball and go to OT. Instead, they rode Brady to victory. He drove them 53 yards to set up Vinatieri’s 48 yard winning field goal.

    The Patriots were 14 point underdogs. The Rams stars were announced individually before the game but the Patriots bucked tradition and came out as a team. An unmatched dynasty in the period of free agency was born.

    Of course Brady deserved recognition as Super Bowl MVP.

  9. Definitely, keep Adam. At his age, he won’t remember what happened yesterday, when he gets up today. And his performance will just continue on in a positive fashion. I’m past his age but will testify to the memory thing, now what was my point ???

  10. Vinatieri has broken more hearts than Elvis Presley. Ask John Gruden, Rich Gannon, Charles Woodsen, Mike Matz, Lovie Smith, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, John Fox, Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme and countless othhers.

    So he’s missed a few field goals but he’s made one’s no one else ever would have made or ever had a chance to make.

    Belichick always called him a football player, not a kicker, and once called him the best athlete on the team. He also ran down Herschel Walker on a kickoff return, one of the most shocking plays in NFL history.

    Please, stop tearing down players that did it the old fashion way: They earned it.

  11. In fairness though, the more kicks you attempt, the more you will miss. So Boswell, McManus, and Hauschka have higher percentages than Gostkowski as well, but I’m sure more people would consider him a better kicker.

  12. A tale of passing yardage in the Super Bowl.

    Tom Brady SB 36: 134 yards passing
    Trent Dilfer SB 35: 133 yards passing
    Peyton Manning SB 50: 141 yards passing

    Pat fan scoffs at Dilfer and Manning for these games but insists Brady was a deserving MVP. Can’t figure that one out.

  13. The envy directed at the Patriots and Tom Brady never ceases to amaze me. Brady and the Patriots got the ball with 1:21 left in the 4th quarter and needed to gain at least 50 yards to set up a field goal chance.

    =======
    It’s not envy it’s an observation that a guy who didn’t even have 100 yards passing at the 59:00 mark of the game somehow got MVP.

    Vinatieri was deserving MVP. With a different kicker facing that pressure they probably lose. With a different coach they lose. With a lesser defense to make plays they lose. With Trent Dilfer – who threw for just one yard less than Brady did- they probably still win.

  14. Braz says:
    January 13, 2019 at 9:46 am
    A tale of passing yardage in the Super Bowl.

    Tom Brady SB 36: 134 yards passing
    Trent Dilfer SB 35: 133 yards passing
    Peyton Manning SB 50: 141 yards passing

    Pat fan scoffs at Dilfer and Manning for these games but insists Brady was a deserving MVP. Can’t figure that one out.

    Honestly, one of that games is not like the others. And the outlier is Manning, who threw a pick, lost a fumble, and had another fumble which Denver recovered. Brady and Dilfer both managed the game, for sure, kept clean (one sack each, vs 5 for Manning), didn’t turn it over. Generally, the only time that Patriots fans mention Dilfer is when he’s on TV giving a terrible take like he usually does.

    And let’s not forget that the rules by Super Bowl 50 were a LOT friendlier to quarterbacks (thanks, Bill Polian!) than they were back in SBXXXV and SBXXXVI, so you’d expect Manning, all other things being equal, to have better stats.

  15. The discussion concerning SB36 is always an enjoyable one for
    pats fans. It illustrates two great aspects of championship teams and MVPs.
    First: MVP stands for MOST valuable player, not ONLY valuable player. In the abstract each player represents about 2% of the whole squad on any given day. If they all play well and all lend important plays in victory in relatively equal amounts it makes it very hard to say which player did the “most”. In the abstract a player could contribute only about 5% to victory, not stand out from others, but still be the most valuable.
    Second: The 2001 Patriots were the perfect illustration of a team that played to the team concept. They were introduced as a team and played the perfect team game and it lead to a championship.

    Did Brady contribute a small comparative amount toward victory? sure. Was it the most? I think so but I could see why others might not.

    What makes it great for me is hearing cases for other players from a game almost two decades old. Stand up for AV kicks or Ty Law picksix, throw in some Mike Vrable pressure, Seymour and Pleasant TFL’s or ted Bruschi fumble recovery. Talk about MgGinnest in the backfield all game or Otis Smith’s pick. Let’s hear some more Antoine Smith over right guard. Let’s hear about Greg Robinson Randall stepping up. Redmond getting out of bounds, Troy Brown catching the big one over the middle. Let’s hear it all again. Music to my ears.

  16. Braz says:
    January 13, 2019 at 7:32 am
    The true MVP of the Patriots first Super Bowl.

    Not Brady who didn’t even have 100 yards passing until that last drive.
    ——
    If Adam kicked 5 FG then sure. Not for 2 FG.

    Brady would not have gotten my vote (Smith would have) but there’s nothing wrong with the choice. 🙂

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