Adam Vinatieri

Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972) is an American football placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He has played in five Super Bowls: four with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts, winning with the Patriots in 2001, 2003, and 2004 and with the Colts in 2006. He holds the NFL record for most Super Bowl wins by a kicker. He also holds NFL records, among all players, for most points scored (2,600)[2][3], most postseason points scored (238)[4], most field goals made (582)[5], and most overtime field goals made (12). He is the only player ever to score 1,000 points with two teams. As of 2019, Vinatieri, 46, is the oldest active player in the NFL and 4th oldest of all time.[6][7] Due to his numerous accolades and records, Vinatieri is considered to be one of the greatest kickers in NFL history.

Noted for his kicking accuracy and success under pressure,[8][9] Vinatieri has converted several of the most crucial field goals in NFL history, including the game-tying and winning kicks in blizzard conditions in the infamous "Tuck Rule Game", and game-winning kicks in the final seconds of two Super Bowls (XXXVI and XXXVIII).

Adam Vinatieri
refer to caption
Vinatieri in 2018
No. 4 – Indianapolis Colts
Position:Placekicker
Personal information
Born:December 28, 1972 (age 46)
Yankton, South Dakota
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:209 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Rapid City (SD) Central
College:South Dakota State
Undrafted:1996
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards

NFL records

  • 44-straight field goals made
  • Most career field goals made (582)[1]
  • Most career points in NFL history (2,600)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Field goals:582/691 (84.2%)
Longest field goal:57
Points scored:2,600
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Vinatieri was born in Yankton, South Dakota, on December 28, 1972, the second of Judy M. (Goeken) and Paul Vinatieri's four children. His great-great-grandfather was Italian, and his other ancestry includes German and English.[10][11][12] His younger brother Beau was a placekicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003.[13]

When Vinatieri was five years old, his family moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. As a child, he struggled to read and enrolled in classes for children with learning disabilities. Vinatieri attended Central High School in Rapid City and was a letterman in football, wrestling, basketball, soccer, and track. In football, he earned first team All-State honors as a senior. He graduated from Central High School in 1991. Before starting at kicker, Vinatieri was a quarterback and middle linebacker. When asked why he no longer played one of those positions, he replied, "I'm 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, and unfortunately the linebackers [in college] aren't that small, and neither are the quarterbacks."[14]

College career

Vinatieri first enrolled in the United States Military Academy at West Point but only lasted two weeks, before deciding to return home,[15] where he then enrolled in South Dakota State University. He was a four-year letterman there as a placekicker and punter and he finished his collegiate career as SDSU's all-time leading scorer with 185 career points as well as being awarded first-team all-conference honors in each of his seasons.[16]

Professional career

Amsterdam Admirals

Vinatieri spent the fall of 1995 training to compete professionally. He received a tryout for the World League of American Football (later rebranded as NFL Europe), and earned a roster position with the Amsterdam Admirals as a placekicker and punter.

New England Patriots (1996–2005)

1996–2000: early years

In 1996, Vinatieri was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent to be a placekicker. He played in New England for the first 10 years of his NFL career, during which he played in four Super Bowls, winning three titles. In his rookie season, he chased down and tackled Dallas Cowboys returner Herschel Walker on a kickoff, leading then-Patriots head coach Bill Parcells to tell his rookie kicker "You're not a kicker—you're a football player." His first Super Bowl appearance was in his rookie season of 1996, when he played with the Patriots in their 35–21 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. One of his kickoffs in the Super Bowl was returned by Desmond Howard for a Super Bowl-record 99 yards and a touchdown that ended the Patriots' bid for a comeback.[17]

2001–2004: three Super Bowls

In the 2001 playoffs, during a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders in the final game at Foxboro Stadium, Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal into a swirling winter wind to tie the game 13–13 and send it into overtime. The Patriots won the game on another field goal of 23 yards by Vinatieri.[18] In Super Bowl XXXVI that season, Vinatieri kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play to give the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl victory, a 20–17 upset win over the St. Louis Rams, who were 14-point favorites coming into the game.[19] Two years later in the 2003 season, in an almost identical situation, he kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to boost the Patriots to another championship (after missing one field goal and having another attempt blocked in the first half). This time, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32–29, making Vinatieri the first player ever to be the deciding factor in two Super Bowl games (Vinatieri kept the balls used on both of these kicks).[20]

Adam Vinatieri warms up prior to Super Bowl XXXIX
Vinatieri warming up during the pre-game of Super Bowl XXXIX

In 2004, Vinatieri led the NFL in scoring with 141 points (31-for-33 on field goals, and a perfect 48-for-48 on extra point attempts).[21] In a game against the St. Louis Rams, Vinatieri scored 16 points (four field goals and four extra points), and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown on a fake field goal attempt (that pass gives him a career passer rating of 122.9).[22][23] In Week 10, against the Buffalo Bills, he scored a career-high 17 points on five field goals and two extra points.[24] He went on to score a field goal and three extra points in the Patriots 24–21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.[25]

2005 season

By the time Vinatieri finished his final season with the Patriots in 2005, he had kicked 18 game-winning field goals with less than one minute remaining, including the postseason. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, he had a career field goal percentage of 81.9 percent (263/321), fifth highest in NFL history. In his time in New England, his community involvement included helping Christian athletes, D.A.R.E., and the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau. He was a spokesperson for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island's teen anti-smoking contest, and also appeared in commercials for Boston-based pizza Papa Gino's. Vinatieri finished his 10 seasons with the Patriots as the team's all-time leading scorer with 1,156 points (that record was surpassed by Vinatieri's replacement, Stephen Gostkowski, in 2014). The Patriots have not re-issued Vinatieri's No. 4 since he left the team.

Indianapolis Colts (2006–present)

2006 season: fifth Super Bowl

After the 2005 season, the Patriots chose not to place the franchise tag on Vinatieri as they had the year before, allowing him to become a free agent. He had visited with the Green Bay Packers, but was set on signing in either a warm-weather climate or a team that played home games in a dome.[26] On March 22, 2006, Vinatieri signed with the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Mike Vanderjagt, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Vinatieri was signed to a five-year contract and received a $3.5 million signing bonus.

When the Colts called, I told my agent, 'Let's not screw around,' " said Vinatieri, in his first extensive comments regarding his departure from New England. "I told him, 'If Indy is interested, let's get this done.'" Vinatieri said he has no regrets about not giving the Patriots a chance to counter the offer.[27]

With the New England Patriots, Vinatieri had been a perfect 10-of-10 in kicks in the RCA Dome. In the second round of the 2006 AFC playoffs, Vinatieri kicked five field goals in the Colts' 15–6 upset of the favored Baltimore Ravens.[28]

The Colts reached Super Bowl XLI after defeating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. It was Vinatieri's fifth Super Bowl appearance, and his first with the Colts. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears by a score of 29–17. Vinatieri was 3 for 4 on field goals, and 1 for 2 on points after touchdowns, the miss when punter/holder Hunter Smith fumbled the snap on the extra-point attempt after the Colts' first offensive touchdown. He missed a 36-yard kick wide left at the end of the first half—the third time he had missed a kick in the Super Bowl.[29] Super Bowl XLI was Vinatieri's fourth Super Bowl victory. Vinatieri finished the 2006–07 postseason with 49 total points and 14 field goals, both NFL records. He is the only player to have 3 or more field goals in 4 consecutive postseason games.

2007–2009: records and injury

During the 2007 season, Vinatieri appeared in all 16 games and was 23-of-29 on field goals (FGs) and 49–of–51 PATs for 118 points (both missed PATs were blocked).[30] This season marked his 12th consecutive 100+ point season. He kicked his 20th career game-winning FG in the final minute of a 4th quarter or in overtime, this time with three seconds remaining against the Kansas City Chiefs on November 18, 2007.[31] In the postseason that year, Vinatieri extended his NFL career postseason records in field goals (41), attempts (50), points (172) and consecutive games scoring (22).[30]

During the 2008 season, Vinatieri appeared in 16 games and was 20-of-25 FGs and 43-of-43 PATs for 103 points, his 13th consecutive season with over (100+) points.[30] He made a 47-yard game-winner with three seconds remaining against Minnesota on September 14, the 21st of his career. He made a 52-yard FG vs. New England on November 2 with 8:05 remaining for the deciding points in 18–15 victory and was named AFC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week. Later that month, on November 23, Vinatieri hit a game-winner with no time remaining at San Diego.[32] The 51-yard field goal was both his longest game-winning FG and the 22nd game-winning FG of career.[30]

Vinatieri appeared in only six games for the Colts in 2009 due to injury.[33] In July 2009, Vinatieri had surgery on his right hip to alleviate a nagging injury, but the Colts expected that he would be ready for the season.[34] However, Vinatieri struggled early in the season and complained of soreness in his knee. Doctors found loose cartilage in an MRI, and Vinatieri underwent arthroscopic surgery during the Colts' bye week.[35] During this season, punter Pat McAfee assumed Vinatieri's kickoff duties,[36] something he would continue to do until his retirement after the 2016 season. Vinatieri was expected to miss 4–8 weeks while recovering. The Colts signed former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover to replace him. There was speculation over whether the Colts could cut Vinatieri, but Colts president Bill Polian stated that Vinatieri would return when he was 100% healthy.[37] Vinatieri would remain injured for the entire 2009 regular season as well as throughout the Colts' postseason run to Super Bowl XLIV.[38] Vinatieri did not play in Super Bowl XLIV, which the Colts lost to the New Orleans Saints.

2010–2015: more records

Viniteri in 2010
Vinatieri in 2010

The 2010 season showed a return to form after Vinatieri's injury-plagued 2009 season. Vinatieri appeared in 15 games that season.[30] In the final game of the regular season, in which the Colts claimed the AFC South title, Vinatieri recorded his 23rd career game-winning kick in the final minute of regulation or in overtime.[39] He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time after the game.[39] Some other noteworthy accomplishments for Vinatieri during 2010 include:

  • He became the 12th kicker in NFL history to score 1,600 points in his career.[30]
  • He became the seventh kicker in NFL history to score 500-plus points with two teams (850 with Colts; 1,156 with Patriots)
  • He connected on 26 of 28 field goals (92.9 percent) this season, the best percentage among NFL kickers that season with at least 20 attempts
  • On November 14 vs. Cincinnati, he surpassed Eddie Murray (who had 352 career FGs) for 11th-most FGs made in NFL history[30]
  • His 129 points marked the second-most of his career. It marked the 14th time he surpassed 100 points in a season[30]
  • He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week two times during 2010. It marked twelve (12) times during his career (including 8 times with the New England Patriots)[39]

With 53 seconds left in the Colts' Wild Card playoff game against the New York Jets, Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal, his third field goal of the game, to put the Colts ahead 16–14. However, the Jets later won the game on a 32-yard field goal by Nick Folk as time expired.[40]

On January 11, 2014, against the Patriots in the Divisional Playoff round, Vinatieri became the first player in NFL history to convert 50 field goals in the postseason.[41] On March 11, 2014, Vinatieri signed a two-year extension with the Colts.[42]

In Week 13 of the 2014 season, against the Washington Redskins, Vinatieri converted a career-high seven extra-point attempts in the 49–27 win.[43] Through Week 16, Vinatieri was 28-of-28 in field goals, and was selected to his third career Pro Bowl in December.[44] In the regular season finale against the Tennessee Titans, Vinatieri converted his first field goal but missed on his second attempt, ending his run at a perfect season. He would finish the season 30-of-31 in field goals, and did not miss a PAT.[45] On January 2, 2015, Vinatieri was selected by the Associated Press as the First Team All-Pro kicker, his third such selection.[46]

On May 6, Vinatieri was ranked on the NFL Network's NFL Top 100 Players of 2015 list as the 98th best player heading into the 2015 season, becoming the first specialist (kicker or punter) ever to be ranked in the top 100, as well as the oldest player to be ranked.[47] In Week 4 of the 2015 season, Vinatieri became the Colts' all-time leading scorer and the first player in NFL history to score 1,000 points with two teams.[48] In Week 8, he set the NFL's all-time record for overtime field goals made in a career with 10. In Week 11, Vinatieri converted three extra points and a game-winning field goal to give the Colts a come-from-behind win in Vinatieri's 300th NFL game.[49]

2016 season

On March 8, 2016, Vinatieri signed a two-year, $6 million extension with the Colts.[50] On October 12, Vinatieri was awarded the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award for the 16th time in his career, establishing a new NFL record.[51] In Week 5, against the Chicago Bears, he tied his career-high with 17 points (five field goals and two extra points) scored in the 29–23 victory.[52] In a game against the Tennessee Titans on October 23, Vinatieri kicked his 43rd successful field goal in a row to break the NFL record set by Mike Vanderjagt.[53] Vinatieri was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October.[54] His streak of consecutive successful field goals ended at 44, when he missed a 42-yard kick in the Colts' Week 11 game against the Tennessee Titans.[55] On January 1, 2017, a missed field goal in the season's final game against the Jacksonville Jaguars cost Vinatieri a $500,000 bonus. The bonus depended on Vinatieri finishing the 2016 campaign with a 90% or higher field goal rate.[56]

2017 season

On September 10, 2017, Vinatieri started his 22nd season in the NFL in the game against the Los Angeles Rams.[57] In Week 5, Vinatieri went 4-for-4, hitting field goals of 23, 38, and 52 yards, followed by a 51-yard game-winner, in a 26–23 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers, earning him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.[58]

2018: record-setting season

2018 was a season of several major milestones and NFL records for Vinatieri. On February 22, 2018, Vinatieri signed a one-year contract extension with the Colts through the 2018 season.[59] In his first game of the season, Vinatieri hit a 51 yard field goal and became the oldest player to hit a field goal of 50 yards or more. In Week 2, Vinatieri hit 3 extra point attempts to score 2,501 points in his career and became only the second player in NFL history to score over 2,500 points. He also moved into 4th place all time in Extra point attempts with 828. In Week 3, Vinatieri connected on 1 extra point and 3 of 3 field goals thus tying the NFL record of 565 Field goals made with Morten Andersen. In Week 4, Vinatieri hit 4 of 4 extra points and 2 of 2 field goals in a losing effort to the Texans to make him the all time leader in field goals made with 567. He also surpassed George Blanda moving him into 4th place all time in career games played with 341. On October 4, 2018 in a Thursday night game, Vinatieri kicked a 54 yard field goal to break his own record of the oldest player to hit a 50+ yard field goal. He also surpassed Gary Anderson moving him into 2nd place all time in field goal attempts with 674. In Week 6, Vinatieri scored 10 points, going 2 for 2 in field goals and 4 for 4 in extra points surpassing Gary Anderson and moving into 3rd place all time in extra point attempts. In Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, Vinatieri scored 10 points and became the all time NFL leader in points scored with 2,550. In week 14 in a win over the Texans, Vinatieri made 3 of 3 extra point attempts to move into second place all time with 860 and he also connected on a 54 yard field goal to break his own record of oldest player to connect on a 50+ yard field goal. In week 17, at age 46 Vinatieri broke his own record with a 53 yard field goal to become the oldest player to kick a 50+ yard field goal and moved into second place for most extra point attempts with 852. He also became the fourth oldest player to play in a game.[60][61]

2019 season

On January 25, 2019, Vinatieri signed a one-year contract extension with the Colts.[62]

Career NFL statistics

Regular season

Season Team Games Overall FGs PATs Kickoffs Points
GP Blk Lng FG Att FGM Pct XP Att XPM Pct 2PT Blk KO Avg TB Ret Avg
1996 NE 16 1 50 35 27 77.1 42 39 92.9 1 89 64.1 9 80 20.8 120
1997 NE 16 0 52 29 25 86.2 40 40 100.0 0 81 62.4 4 75 22.0 115
1998 NE 16 1 55 39 31 79.5 32 32 100.0 1 0 69 62.5 6 71 18.8 127
1999 NE 16 0 51 33 26 78.8 30 29 96.7 1 71 62.8 5 63 22.7 107
2000 NE 16 0 53 33 27 81.8 25 25 100.0 0 67 63.2 7 60 20.9 106
2001 NE 16 0 54 30 24 80.0 42 41 97.6 1 82 60.9 6 75 22.1 113
2002 NE 16 0 57 30 27 90.0 36 36 100.0 0 83 60.4 6 73 20.5 117
2003 NE 16 1 48 34 25 73.5 38 37 97.4 1 79 62.9 2 76 21.4 112
2004 NE 16 0 48 33 31 93.9 48 48 100.0 0 94 63.0 6 86 23.3 141
2005 NE 16 0 49 25 20 80.0 41 40 97.6 1 80 61.7 10 67 21.9 100
2006 IND 13 0 48 28 25 89.3 38 38 100.0 0 73 65.8 10 63 25.3 113
2007 IND 16 1 39 29 23 79.3 51 49 96.1 2 91 65 9 81 25.0 118
2008 IND 16 1 52 25 20 80.0 43 43 100.0 0 80 65.1 8 69 24.4 103
2009 IND 6 0 48 9 7 77.8 18 17 94.4 1 38
2010 IND 16 1 48 28 26 92.9 51 51 100.0 0 129
2011 IND 16 1 53 27 23 85.2 24 24 100.0 0 93
2012 IND 16 2 53 33 26 78.8 37 37 100.0 0 115
2013 IND 15 1 52 40 35 87.5 34 34 100.0 0 139
2014 IND 16 0 53 31 30 96.8 50 50 100.0 0 140
2015 IND 16 0 55 27 25 92.6 35 32 91.4 1 107
2016 IND 16 0 54 31 27 87.1 44 44 100.0 0 125
2017 IND 15 1 54 34 29 85.3 24 22 91.6 0 109
2018 IND 16 0 54 27 23 85.2 47 44 93.6 0 113
Total (23 seasons) 353 11 57 690 582 84.3 870 852 97.9 1 9 1,049 63.0 88 939 22.2 2,600

Postseason

Season Team Games Overall FGs PATs Kickoffs Points
GP Blk Lng FG Att FGM Pct XP Att XPM Pct Blk KO Avg TB Ret Avg
1996 NE 3 0 29 3 2 66.7 9 9 100.0 0 13 63.7 0 13 24.8 15
1997 NE 2 0 46 5 3 60.0 2 2 100.0 0 7 61.4 1 6 20.2 11
1998 NE 1 0 27 1 1 100.0 1 1 100.0 0 3 64.0 0 3 22.0 4
2001 NE 3 0 48 7 6 85.7 6 6 100.0 0 13 62.2 0 13 19.9 24
2003 NE 3 1 46 10 7 70.0 6 6 100.0 0 17 59.6 0 17 20.8 27
2004 NE 3 0 48 5 5 100.0 10 10 100.0 0 18 58.1 1 17 16.9 25
2005 NE 2 0 40 3 2 66.7 5 5 100.0 0 9 62.8 0 9 20.1 11
2006 IND 4 0 51 15 14 93.3 7 7 100.0 0 26 61.0 2 23 24.0 49
2007 IND 1 0 46 1 1 100.0 3 3 100.0 0 5 73.2 1 4 25.8 6
2008 IND 1 0 43 1 1 100.0 2 2 100.0 0 5 71.8 1 4 26.5 5
2010 IND 1 0 50 3 3 100.0 1 1 100.0 0 10
2012 IND 1 0 52 4 3 75.0 0 0 9
2013 IND 2 0 37 3 3 100.0 8 8 100.0 0 17
2014 IND 3 0 53 7 5 71.4 5 5 100.0 0 21
2018 IND 2 0 1 0 0.00 5 4 80.0 0 4
Total 32 1 53 69 56 81.2 70 69 98.6 0 116 62.3 6 109 21.6 238

Honors and awards

NFL records

  • Most points scored: 2,600
  • Most field goals made: 582
  • Most regular season wins by a single player in any position: 215
  • Most seasons with 100+ points: 21 (1996–2008, 2010, 2012–2018)
  • Most postseason field goals in a career: 56
  • Most consecutive games in a single postseason with 3+ field goals: 4
  • Most points in postseason, career: 238
  • Oldest player to make a 50+ yard field goal: (53 yards) - 46 Years, 2 days.
  • Oldest player to make a 54 yard field goal: (54 yards) - 45 Years, 343 days.
  • Most points in a single postseason: 49[63]
  • Most field goals in a single postseason: 14
  • Most field goals in Super Bowls: 7
  • Most extra points in Super Bowls: 13
  • Most field goals in overtime: 12
  • Most consecutive field goals in NFL history: 44[55]
  • Most Super Bowl wins by a place kicker: 4
  • Most Super Bowl appearances by a place kicker: 5
  • Only player to score 1,000+ points for 2 teams.
  • Most playoff games by a place kicker: 32, which also ranks 2nd of any position (Tom Brady has 40).
  • Most player of the week awards by a place kicker: 18
  • Most special team player of the month awards: 5 , tied with Jason Hanson, David Akers and John Carney

Personal life

Vinatieri grew up in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. He has a deep history in connection with the Black Hills area, as his great-great grandfather was Felix Vinatieri, an Italian immigrant who served as Lt Col George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster.[64][65] Adam Vinatieri has stated that Lt Col Custer told Felix Vinatieri to head back to camp instead of going ahead with the regiment to Little Big Horn, and that this decision saved his great-great grandfather's life. He is also a third cousin to the daredevil Evel Knievel[66] and second cousin to scientist and author Tim Foecke (their mothers are first cousins).[67]

Vinatieri's sister is South Dakota politician Christine Erickson. Vinatieri's nephew, Chase, followed in Adam's footsteps as a kicker for South Dakota State.[68]

Endorsements

Vinatieri starred in a television commercial for the Snickers candy bar with the tagline, "Split the Uprights with Adam Nougatieri."[69] He also appeared in a sketch featuring Da Bears for Saturday Night Live, and as a guest star in NFL Monday Night Football, NBC Sunday Night Football, ESPN Sunday Night Football, and the 2008 ESPN special The Greatest Game Ever Played.[70] He appeared as himself in a 2013 episode of Parks and Recreation.

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External links

Preceded by
Morten Andersen
(565)
Career NFL field goals made
(566)

2018–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
1996 New England Patriots season

The 1996 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League and the 37th overall. They finished with a record of eleven wins and five losses, and finished first in the AFC East division.

After a disappointing 1995 season, Drew Bledsoe bounced back with 4,086 passing yards and threw 27 touchdown passes to just 15 interceptions while Curtis Martin had another Pro Bowl season. The team lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers.

1998 New England Patriots season

The 1998 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 29th season in the National Football League and the 39th overall. They finished with a 9–7 record, good for fourth place in the division but also a playoff berth; they lost in the first round to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the offseason, the Patriots tendered restricted free agent running back Curtis Martin with the highest possible tender, which would return the Patriots first- and third-round draft picks if any team were to sign him and the Patriots were to decide not to match the offer. Fueling the rivalry between the two teams, the New York Jets and head coach Bill Parcells, who had resigned from the Patriots two years earlier, signed Martin, the 1995 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and per restricted free agency rules ceded their first- and third-round picks in the 1998 NFL Draft to the Patriots. With the first-round pick the Patriots selected another running back Robert Edwards, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie campaign. Suffering a broken finger in November, veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe was unable to start the team's final two regular season games and was replaced by Scott Zolak. With a 9–7 record the Patriots finished fourth in the AFC East but earned a sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. With Zolak still at the helm, the Patriots were defeated on the road by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the second straight playoff defeat for second-year head coach Pete Carroll, and is one of only two games the Patriots have ever lost to the Jaguars, the second being in 2018.

2001 New England Patriots season

The 2001 New England Patriots season was the 32nd season for the New England Patriots in the National Football League and 42nd season overall. They finished with an 11–5 record and a division title before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXVI.

Coming off a fifth-place finish in the AFC East during head coach Bill Belichick’s first season in 2000, the Patriots were not expected to fare much better in 2001. On August 6, quarterbacks coach, Dick Rehbein, died of cardiomyopathy at the age of 45. In the second game of the regular season, nine-year starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who had received a 10-year contract extension in March, was injured on a hit by New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, causing backup Tom Brady, a sixth-round draft pick in 2000, to enter the game. The Patriots lost the game to fall to 0–2, but Brady started the final 14 games of the season and compiled an 11–3 record as a starter, helping the Patriots clinch the 2nd seed in the AFC playoffs and a first round bye. As a result, the Patriots became only the 2nd team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl after starting the season 2–3, behind the 1980 Oakland Raiders.With the second seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots faced the Oakland Raiders at home following a first-round bye in the final game at Foxboro Stadium; in a snowstorm, a Patriots drive late in the fourth quarter was kept alive in an application of the now-famous tuck rule that was used in overturning a Brady fumble into an incomplete pass. Shortly after, a 45-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal through the snow, considered one of the most clutch field goals in NFL history, sent the game into overtime, when another Vinatieri field goal won it. After defeating the top-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots faced the heavily favored St. Louis Rams, known as "The Greatest Show on Turf", in Super Bowl XXXVI. Once again, Vinatieri kicked a game-winning field goal; the 48-yard kick sailed through the uprights as time expired, and gave the Patriots their first ever Super Bowl victory in what has been considered by many to be a "cinderella" season. As it would turn out the 2001 season served as a launching pad for the team. In the next 18 seasons, they would win their division 15 times, win the AFC Championship 8 more times, win 5 additional Super Bowl titles, and achieve an undefeated regular season (followed by a 2–1 playoff record) in 2007.

2002 New England Patriots season

The 2002 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 33rd season in the National Football League, the 43rd overall and the 3rd under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with a 9–7 record, good enough for second in the division but not a playoff berth. It was their first season at their new home field, Gillette Stadium, which replaced the adjacent Foxboro Stadium.

Following their victory in Super Bowl XXXVI seven months earlier, the Patriots played their first game in the new Gillette Stadium in the NFL's prime-time Monday Night Football opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a win for the Patriots. After an additional two wins to begin the season, including a 44–7 road win against the division rival New York Jets, the team lost five of its next seven games, allowing an average of 137 rushing yards a game during that span. In the final week of the season, the Patriots defeated the Miami Dolphins on an overtime Adam Vinatieri field goal to give both teams a 9–7 record. A few hours later, the Jets, who defeated the Patriots the week prior, also finished with a 9–7 record with a win over the Green Bay Packers. Due to their record against common opponents, after the Jets won the tiebreaker for the division title, both the Patriots and Dolphins were eliminated from the playoff contention. As of 2018 this is the last season the Patriots failed to win at least 10 games. It also marked the only time a Tom Brady-led Patriots team failed to win their division or make the playoffs.

2003 New England Patriots season

The 2003 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 34th season in the National Football League, the 44th overall and the 4th under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with a league-best 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Two seasons after winning Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots went into 2003 after missing the playoffs in 2002. In a salary cap-related move, captain and Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy was released five days before the start of the regular season, prompting second-guessing of head coach Bill Belichick among fans and a report by ESPN analyst Tom Jackson that Patriots players "hated their coach", an accusation later denied by players. Milloy signed with the Buffalo Bills, who defeated the Patriots, 31–0, in the season opener. The Patriots would rebound though, not losing another game after starting with a 2–2 record. Due to multiple injuries, the Patriots started 42 different players during the season, an NFL record for a division winner until the Patriots started 45 different players in 2005. Undefeated at home, nose tackle Ted Washington coined the phrase "Homeland Defense" for a Patriots' defense, boosted by the acquisitions of Washington and San Diego Chargers castoff safety Rodney Harrison in the offseason, that gave up a league-low 14.9 points per game en route to a 14–2 regular season record. The regular season was bookended with a 31–0 victory over the Bills at home in Week 17, a score reversed from the Patriots' shutout loss to the Bills in Week 1. The win gave the Patriots a perfect 8–0 record at home in the regular season and the 14–2 season was a club record and the first time the Patriots ever won more than 11 games in a season.

After a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots faced the Tennessee Titans at home in one of the coldest games in NFL history and won, setting up an AFC Championship Game matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. The top-seeded Patriots intercepted Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the league's co-MVP, four times, winning 24–14 and advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers. With a tied game late in the fourth quarter, Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal with seconds remaining, giving the Patriots their second Super Bowl victory in three seasons.

2004 New England Patriots season

The 2004 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League, the 45th overall and the 5th under head coach Bill Belichick. They finished with their second straight 14–2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXIX, their third Super Bowl victory in four years, and their last until a decade later in 2014. They are, as of the present, the last team to repeat as NFL Champions.

Following a Super Bowl win in 2003, the Patriots looked to improve their running game in the offseason. Replacing Antowain Smith with longtime but disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals running back Corey Dillon, who was acquired in a trade days before the 2004 NFL Draft; Dillon would rush for a career-high 1,635 yards in 2004. Winning their first six games of the season, the Patriots set the NFL record for consecutive regular season victories (18), which was later broken by the 2006–2008 Patriots (21), and consecutive regular season and playoff victories (21) before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 31. In that game, Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law was lost for the season with a foot injury. Combined with the loss of other starting cornerback Tyrone Poole two weeks earlier, the Patriots were forced to complete the regular season and playoffs by using second-year cornerback Asante Samuel, undrafted free agent Randall Gay, and longtime Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown at cornerback, among others.

With a 14–2 record and the second seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts at home in the playoffs for the second-straight year, holding the Colts' top offense to three points. The Patriots then defeated the top-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers on the road, 41–27, in the AFC Championship Game. Prior to the Patriots' matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell said he did not know the names of the Patriots' defensive backs, which was taken as a sign of disrespect by the Patriots' "replacement" secondary. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Eagles 24–21 in their second straight Super Bowl victory and third championship in four seasons, leading to some labeling the Patriots of the era a sports dynasty.

2005 Jacksonville Jaguars season

The 2005 Jacksonville Jaguars season was the eleventh season in franchise history. The Jaguars finished 12–4 in the regular season, but did not manage to win their own division, being swept by the Indianapolis Colts who started 13–0 and finished the regular season at 14–2. After ending up on the losing side of a Wild Card Round blowout against the New England Patriots, the Jaguars finished with an overall record of 12–5.

2005 Pro Bowl

The 2005 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 2004 season. The game was played February 13, 2005, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was AFC 38 – NFC 27. The most valuable player was Peyton Manning of the Colts. The game holds the record as the latest Pro Bowl played during the calendar year, and the latest NFL game.

2006 Indianapolis Colts season

The 2006 Indianapolis Colts season was the franchise's 54th season in the National Football League, the 23rd in Indianapolis and the 5th season under head coach Tony Dungy. The team failed improve on their regular season record of 14–2 from the 2005 season, and finishing at 12-4. However, they did improve upon their postseason performance and advanced further into the playoffs , winning Super Bowl XLI.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Colts had won 12 or more games. They also won the AFC South Division Championship for the fourth time in a row, and they won the American Football Conference Championship, beating the New England Patriots 38–34 to advance to Super Bowl XLI, in which they dominated the Chicago Bears, winning 29–17 on February 4, 2007, at Dolphin Stadium. This was the franchise's first Super Bowl since Super Bowl V in 1970, and first since relocating to Indianapolis. It was their fourth world championship (1958, 1959, 1970, and 2006.)

The 2006 Colts surrendered 5.33 rushing yards per attempt, by far the worst since the merger, and seventh-worst in NFL history. Still, the Colts won the championship with the help of the most statistically efficient offense in the league.

2007 Indianapolis Colts season

The 2007 Indianapolis Colts season was the franchise's 55th season in the National Football League, the 24th in Indianapolis and the 6th season under head coach Tony Dungy. The defending AFC and Super Bowl champions improved upon their 12–4 record from 2006 as well as won their fifth-straight AFC South Championship. They finished the season 13–3 and lost to the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Colts remained under the supervision of Head Coach Tony Dungy and played all of their home games in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. 2007 was the Colts' final season in the RCA Dome, as they began playing home games in Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008. In early January 2007 the Colts were the early co-favorites to win Super Bowl XLII, along with the San Diego Chargers.

2008 Indianapolis Colts season

The 2008 Indianapolis Colts season was the 56th season for the team in the National Football League and the 25th in Indianapolis. It was the first season since 2002 that the Colts did not win the AFC South title. However, after a 3–4 start on the season Peyton Manning led the Colts to a nine-game winning streak, a 12–4 record, and a wild card berth in the playoffs. The Colts' season came to an end in San Diego when they were upset in their wild-card round playoff game against the Chargers.

The 2008 season was the Colts' inaugural season playing at Lucas Oil Stadium after playing at the RCA Dome for 24 seasons. This marks Tony Dungy's 7th and last season as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, and Peyton Manning's 11th season as the starting quarterback. As a result of his play over the final two months of the regular season, Manning was awarded his third MVP award.

When the Colts won their seventh straight game in Week 15, they became the only team in the history of the NFL to have seven consecutive wins in five consecutive seasons. With their regular season record of 12–4, they became the first franchise in NFL history to have twelve wins in six consecutive seasons (New England Patriots holds the record with 8 seasons, 2010-2017).

2010 Indianapolis Colts season

The 2010 Indianapolis Colts season was the franchise's 58th season in the National Football League, the 27th in Indianapolis, and the second under head coach Jim Caldwell. The defending AFC champions were looking to repeat as AFC champions and win it all in Super Bowl XLV to end their four-year championship drought. It was also the final season with Peyton Manning as the team's starting quarterback. They also clinched their ninth consecutive postseason appearance, tying the all-time record for consecutive postseason appearances by a team with the Dallas Cowboys, who made the playoffs every season from 1975–1983. Though the Colts failed to win 12 or more games for the first time since 2002, the team did win the AFC South division title for the seventh time in eight seasons, but were eliminated by the New York Jets in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, which also turned out to be Peyton Manning’s final game in a Colts uniform, as he would sit out next season to undergo neck surgery and was released by the team and subsequently signed with the Denver Broncos.

Fake field goal

A fake field goal is a trick play in American football. Simply, it involves a running or passing play done out of a kick formation. Usually the holder (often the punter or backup quarterback on most teams) will throw or run. Danny White was both quarterback and punter for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980s and often executed this play. Less frequently, the placekicker, who virtually never handles the ball in an American football game, will serve as the passer or rusher on a fake field goal. Examples include then-New England kicker Adam Vinatieri receiving a direct snap and throwing a touchdown pass during an NFL game in 2004, and LSU kicker Colt David rushing for a 15-yard touchdown in 2007 after receiving the ball on a blind lateral from holder (and starting quarterback) Matt Flynn.

Ken Walter

Ken Walter (born August 15, 1972 in Cleveland, Ohio) is a former American football punterNational Football League. He played for the Carolina Panthers from 1997–2000, the New England Patriots from 2001 – 2003, and the Seattle Seahawks in 2004. He played collegiately for Kent State University.

On the Patriots, Ken served as the holder for placekicker Adam Vinatieri. He successfully held for both of Vinatieri's Super Bowl winning kicks in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII. He also held for Vinatieri's famous kicks in the Tuck Rule Game against the Oakland Raiders.

At the end of the 2003 season, Walter wasn't re-signed by the Patriots. Walter struggled at the tail end of that season, was cut for a week as he lost his job to Brooks Barnard, then re-signed for the Patriots' final surge to their Super Bowl XXXVIII championship.

Walter's career appeared over, but he was signed by Seattle in November 2004 and punted in six regular season games and one playoff contest. Yet no team called in 2005 and Walter, who underwent surgery on his left shoulder in October, filed his retirement papers with the league.

As Walter rehabilitated his shoulder injury, he was motivated by his physical therapist to make a comeback. He told the Boston Globe that he had been striking the ball as well as he ever has, and both the Texans and Jaguars had him in for tryouts.

Walter was re-signed by the Patriots on November 22, 2006, after Josh Miller was placed on injured reserve. However, Walter himself suffered a season-ending injury December 17 against the Houston Texans, and was placed on injured reserve two days later.

List of United States Military Academy non-graduate alumni

The United States Military Academy (USMA) is an undergraduate college in West Point, New York with the mission of educating and commissioning officers for the United States Army. The list is drawn from non-graduate former cadets and cadet candidates. It is not unusual for the service academies to have high dropout rates. Of the original 103 cadets in the Class of 1826, only 43 graduated. Non-graduates of the Academy have entered a variety of fields. Notable non-graduates include Edgar Allan Poe (literature), James Abbott McNeill Whistler (art), Maynard James Keenan (music), Adam Vinatieri (football), and even the military: Jacob Zeilin, Lewis Addison Armistead, and Courtney Hodges.

Morten Andersen

Morten Andersen (born August 19, 1960), nicknamed the "Great Dane", is a Danish former American football kicker and All-American at Michigan State University. He is the all-time leader in games played in the NFL, with 382. He formerly held both the NFL records for field goals and points scored, both records were broken by Adam Vinatieri in 2018. At retirement, Andersen was the all-time leading scorer for two different rival teams; the New Orleans Saints, with whom he spent 13 seasons, and the Atlanta Falcons, with whom he spent a combined eight seasons.

He retired in 2008, after not playing for a team that season. Andersen was announced as a member of the 2017 induction class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at that year's NFL Honors. He is only the second exclusive placekicker inducted in the Hall of Fame, and the first since Jan Stenerud in 1991.

Mr. Clutch

Mr. Clutch is the nickname of:

Francis Arnaiz (born 1951), Filipino basketball player

Glenn Davis (halfback) (1924–2005), American football player

Jalen Hurts (born 1998), American football player

Dante Lavelli (1923–2009), American football player

Pat Tabler (born 1958), American baseball player and sportscaster

Adam Vinatieri (born 1972), American football player

Jerry West (born 1938), American basketball player

Stephen Gostkowski

Stephen Carroll Gostkowski ( gost-KOW-skee; born January 28, 1984) is an American football placekicker for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. One of just two kickers drafted, Gostkowski was the only rookie kicker to make an NFL roster that year. He has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots.

Gostkowski, who played both college football and baseball for the University of Memphis, is the most accurate kicker in Patriots history, and, as of the end of the 2018 season, the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history. He is also a consistent and prolific scorer: he is only the second player in NFL history to score 500 points in his first four seasons in the league, and the first to score 1,000 points in his first eight seasons in the league (despite missing half the 2010 season with a leg injury). Gostkowski also holds the record for highest average points per game scored over a career (8.75 points per game as of the end of the 2015 season), and is the first player since the AFL-NFL merger to lead the league in scoring in more than two consecutive seasons (2012–2015; he also led the league in scoring in 2008). In 2014, he became the Patriots' all-time leading scorer, surpassing Adam Vinatieri. As of 2016, he is also the Patriots' all-time leader in field goals, and holds the NFL record for consecutive extra points with 479 (523 including postseason).

Tuck Rule Game

The 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders, also known as the Snow Bowl and the Tuck Rule Game, took place on January 19, 2002, at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the former home stadium of the Patriots. This was also the final game ever played at Foxboro Stadium, and was played under a heavy snowfall. The Patriots moved to Gillette Stadium the following season. To Raiders fans it is known as The New England Snow Job.The name Tuck Rule Game originates from the controversial game-changing play. In the play, Raiders' cornerback Charles Woodson sacked Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, which initially appeared to cause a fumble eventually recovered by Raiders' linebacker Greg Biekert. If it was a fumble, it would have almost certainly sealed the game for Oakland. Officials reviewed the play, and eventually determined that even though Brady had seemingly halted his passing motion and was attempting to "tuck" the ball back into his body, it was an incomplete pass and not a fumble under the then-effective NFL rules. As a result, the original call was overturned, and the ball was given back to the Patriots, who subsequently moved the ball into field goal range.

With under a minute remaining in regulation, Patriots' placekicker Adam Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal to tie the game at 13, which sent the game into overtime. In the subsequent overtime, Vinatieri kicked a 23-yard field goal to win the game for the Patriots. New England went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI, beginning a run of championships with Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, appearing in nine and winning six to date.

Indianapolis Colts current roster
Active roster
Reserve lists
Adam Vinatieri

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