Adam Vinatieri does not impress me.

Adam Vinatieri has four Super Bowl rings to go along with two Pro Bowl appearances and two selections as a First-Team All-Pro. He’s one of only 20 players in NFL history to make over 500 extra points, he’s 15th all-time in career field goals made, and has a career field goal percentage of 81.86, which I believe ranks him at 15th all-time in that category as well. So yes, he has had a fantastic career and that’s all good and well except he’s on my team now and unfortunately his now isn’t as good as his career average.

Vinatieri entered the league in 1996 as a member of the New England Patriots. He played ten years with them and was a key part of all three of their Super Bowl victories this decade, which they cheated to get to and win. Despite that, Vinatieri was phenomenal for the patriots. He was also phenomenal in 2006, his first season with the Indianapolis Colts and the year that we won the Super Bowl. After that though, things took a turn for the worse and over the past three seasons (including the one currently under way) I have been at best disappointed.

On the whole his numbers (in terms of percentages) as a Colt aren’t much different than they were when he was with the cheaters, but if you take out that 2006 season, and then compare his numbers from the past three years to his ones with the patriots it is a significant drop off. Here’s a chart to illustrate what I mean:

Years 10 yrs 4 yrs 3 yrs
Team NWE IND Last 3
Games 160 48 35
0-19 yards FGA 6 2 1
FGM 6 2 1
% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
20-29 yards FGA 107 22 19
FGM 103 21 18
% 96.26% 95.45% 94.74%
30-39 yards FGA 92 37 24
FGM 76 31 19
% 82.61% 83.78% 79.17%
40-49 yards FGA 99 21 11
FGM 70 15 6
% 70.71% 71.43% 54.55%
50-plus yards FGA 17 5 4
FGM 8 2 2
% 47.06% 40.00% 50.00%
Total FGs FGA 321 85 57
FGM 263 70 45
% 81.93% 82.35% 78.95%
Extra Points FGA 374 137 99
FGM 367 135 97
% 98.13% 98.54% 97.98%

Let me know what you think in a comment.

3 Responses

  1. I was telling my friend the other day that I thought he wasn’t as good now as he was back with the Pats. I don’t see him making the Raiders kick again now if he had to. The only significant drop on his last 3 years vs 10 years in NE is the 40-49 range. I see there is a small drop in 30-39 as well but its nothing huge. I would like to see where he missed these because kicking on grass and kicking on turf are different. He is also getting older and how many other kickers are out there right now that you would trade him for?

    • I agree (obviously) and what I really meant by “significant” drop off wasn’t necessarily in reference to how big of a drop off the percentages were but how important they were. I mean, if your kicker isn’t hitting 80% of his field goals from the 30-39 yard range, that is a problem. And if your kicker isn’t hitting 95% from the 20-29 range that’s a problem to. Those should ALWAYS be made, and if you’re kicking under 95% then that means on average you’re missing more than one out of every 20… I’d say missing one out of every 25 would be acceptable because then you’re leaving cushion for one being blocked, or a bad hold, or some other random circumstance, but on the whole kicks less than 30 yards should be made in essence every. single. time. by an NFL kicker and in all reality 30-39 should be well over 80% (well over meaning a few percentages worth) not under, which means you’re not even making four out of every five. That isn’t near reliable enough… but to answer your question about who I would want instead; give me Louie Sakoda as my first choice. He went undrafted this year, but is automatic. I would take him in a heart beat over Vinatieri, and in all honesty give me Shane Andrus over Vinatieri as well. Andrus is an unknown kicker who has been on and off the Colts practice squad for a few years now, kicking in preseason and handled kickoff duties for the first few games for us this year. He’s really good and I can’t honestly understand why he isn’t on an NFL roster right now. Either way I’d take both of those guys over Vinatieri and both we had very real opportunities to get.

  2. Josh Brown is the best kicker in football.

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