Vinatieri breaks NFL record in bizarre Colts overtime defeat

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Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) kicks a 42-yard field goal out of the hold of Rigoberto Sanchez during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Indianapolis. Vinatieri passed Morten Andersen for the most career field goals made in NFL history with the field goal. […]

Adam Vinatieri became the NFL’s career field goal leader Sunday when he made a 42-yarder to help the Indianapolis Colts close within 21-10 with 2 seconds left in the first half Sunday.

The 23-year veteran made his 566th field goal — one more than Hall of Famer Morten Andersen, who played high school football at Indianapolis Ben Davis.

Vinatieri tied the record by making three kicks in last week’s wet loss at Philadelphia before breaking the record on a bright, sunny day on his home turf.

But the 45-year-old kicker, the oldest player in the league followed his traditional form by simply thanking holder Rigoberto Sanchez, long snapper Luke Rhodes and the rest of the kicking unit — who seemed to want celebrate much more than Vinatieri.

“Hopefully if I stay healthy and the team does what it’s supposed to, we will pass some records and I will let them take care of themselves as we go along,” Vinatieri said two weeks ago when the questions began as he neared the mark.

He needs to get used to it.

After making his seventh field goal of the season, Vinatieri moved atop the leaderboard and continued climbing some other charts.

He played in his 341st game, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer George Blanda to move into fourth. If he plays in all 12 remaining games, he will pass Jeff Feagles (343) and tie Gary Anderson (353) for second all time.

He needs two more field-goal attempts to pass Anderson (672) for second on the career list. Andersen is No. 1 with 709.

And Vinatieri has moved within 31 points of breaking Andersen’s career scoring record of 2,544. Vinatieri has said he also hopes to break that record at Lucas Oil Stadium. He is the only player on Indy’s roster who played on opening night of the stadium in 2008.

But what Vinatieri, dubbed the best clutch kicker in league history, does best is win.

He’s participated in a league-record 226 regular-season victories, owns four Super Bowl rings, has played on six AFC championship teams and is the NFL’s career scoring leader in postseason games (234 points).

Yet his most memorable kicks do not count in the official league records.

He made the decisive field goals in the final minutes to give New England two Super Bowl wins and two field goals in the infamous “Snow Bowl”, or “Tuck Rule Game”, to help the Patriots beat Oakland in overtime and start the run to the franchise’s first Super Bowl crown.


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