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As you might have of heard, the NFL is kicking off its 100th season this year. Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri has been collecting paychecks for nearly a quarter of that time.
However, Vinatieri’s 24th season in the NFL is now off to a rough start.
Adam Vinatieri misses unprecedented three kicks
The 46-year-old Vinatieri started his day on the wrong foot with a missed extra point after a Jacoby Brissett touchdown pass, only the 19th such miss in his career.
It got more worrying from there, as Vinatieri also missed a 29-yard and 46-yard field goal attempt later in the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. He also made an extra point and 44-yard field goal, but this is a job defined by its failures more than its successes.
Had Vinatieri simply made that 29-yard field goal, TY Hilton’s touchdown and the subsequent game-tying two-point conversion would have been the Colts’ winning score. Instead, it only pushed the game to overtime, where the Chargers won on an Austin Ekeler touchdown.
It was the first time in Vinatieri’s decades-long career we have seen such a set of misses from the future Hall-of-Famer.
This is the first time in Adam Vinatieri’s 24-year career that he has missed 2+ field goals and an extra point in the same game.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 8, 2019
However, Vinatieri has had his stumbles in past Septembers, and he obviously managed to overcome those.
Adam Vinatieri has missed a PAT and a FG in the same game seven times in his career, five of them in September.
— Nat Newell (@NatJNewell) September 8, 2019
It is worth mentioning that Vinatieri dealt with a knee injury during training camp, though it seemed he was healthy heading into the regular season.
Obviously, Vinatieri’s age is unavoidable when discussing him miss some costly kicks. He’s a legend when it comes to kickers and his longevity is at the point that he has now kicked in 51 different stadiums, but at some point, it seems pretty likely the NFL’s all-time leading scorer will have to retire someday.
Colts coach Frank Reich backed his kicker after the game.
Colts coach Frank Reich on Adam Vinatieri: "He's the one guy I'm not worried about. We have the greatest kicker of all-time. He didn't have a good day. There were a lot of guys that didn't."
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) September 9, 2019
Vinatieri was a little more harsh against himself. Via ESPN:
"I was lousy," said Vinatieri, who stood at his locker and waited for the media after the game. "Obviously, I did not kick well today and let my team down. They played well. Proud of the guys who fought their butts off and came back. ... I feel like that loss is 100% on me. You play a team like the Chargers, who obviously are a good team, can't come in here and miss three kicks and expect to win. That's too many points to give away."
Saying Father Time has finally come for Vinatieri’s leg might be an overreaction to one bad game, but that’s how the drum will beat unless Vinatieri manages to string together some perfect games in the near future.
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