Adam Vinatieri
Getty

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri set the NFL record for points scored on Sunday with a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders.

Coming into the game, Vinatieri was just five points shy of passing Hall of Famer Morten Andersen’s mark of 2,544. He tied the record in the first quarter after converting an extra point and a 26-yard field goal.

Vinatieri moved ahead of Andersen when he made a 25-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in the first half . The game was stopped briefly, and many of Vinatieri’s teammates met him on the field and congratulated him on this outstanding accomplishment.

What made the moment all the more special was that Andersen, the man that Vinatieri passed, made a tribute video congratulating Vinatieri on breaking both his scoring and field goal record. The 45-year-old Vinatieri moved ahead of Andersen for most field goals made in a career on Sept. 30 against Houston.

 

Many others would congratulate Vinatieri’s accomplishment, Former Colts teammates Pat McAfee (who served as Vinatieri’s holder for a while as well), Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, Jeff Saturday and former Colts coaches Tony Dungy and Bruce Arians as well as current coach Frank Reich gave congratulations to Vinatieri.

 

In addition, former Patriots teammate Tom Brady would also show love to his former kicker as well on the accomplishment. Vinatieri spent the first 10 years of his career in New England, where he totaled 1,158 of his points before signing with the Colts as a free agent in 2006.

“Hey Adam, congratulations on the NFL’s scoring record. What an incredible accomplishment. You deserve it. You made the biggest kicks in the biggest games, and I loved playing with you, and I’m always cheering for you — except when you’re playing against the Patriots. But I love you, man. Congrats.” said Brady.

What arguably began Vinatieri’s legend came in January 2002 when he made a 45-yard field goal in a blizzard to get the Patriots into overtime against the Oakland Raiders, followed by making the winning field goal to beat the Raiders in a playoff game. Many say that the 45-yard field goal is arguably the greatest kick in NFL history and that his performance in those clutch moments began what we now know as the Patriots Dynasty

Vinatieri has made 27 game-winning field goals, including ones in Super Bowl XXXVI and XXXVIII.

He also made an NFL-record 44 straight field goals, a streak that ended during the 2016 season, and he has made at least 80 percent of his attempts in 16 of his 23 seasons.

This record will surely stand for quite a while. The closest active players to his total are Sebastian Janikowski of the Seattle Seahawks (1,840 points entering the day) and Phil Dawson of the Arizona Cardinals (1,837) — are both in their 40s and trail by more than 700 points. New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gotskowski, 34, likely has the best long-term shot of any active player but entered the day 1,677 points.

There was a possibility that Vinatieri wasn’t going to break the record today. The four-time Super Bowl champion didn’t practice Wednesday before testing his groin out in practice Thursday after he suffered a groin injury on the first of his two missed extra points in the team’s Week 7 game against the Buffalo Bills. However, Vinatieri played and now stands in a league of his own.

Vinatieri is surely a Hall of Famer and will be in Canton, Ohio one day no doubt. He has been doing this since 1996. During that span Vinatieri has converted 573 field goals and 826 extra points.

Congrats, Adam.

 

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