There are only four NFL kickers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
4 rings. 24 seasons. Congrats on an incredible career, Adam Vinatieri.
Next stop, Canton. pic.twitter.com/DY3baCgoY2
— NFL (@NFL) May 26, 2021
Vinatieri announced his retirement this week.
At 48 years of age, his professional career spanned half of his life.
The four-time Super Bowl Champion (three with the New England Patriots and one with the Indianapolis Colts) has mind-boggling stats and a highlight reel of amazing kicks.
Here are the top three kicks of his career.
3. Boots The Winning Kick In SB 36 To Defeat “The Greatest Show On Turf”
In Super Bowl 36, the St. Louis Rams looked to be out of the game down 17-3 against the Patriots at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The game was far from over as the Rams rallied to score 14 points in the final quarter.
Tied at 17, with seven seconds left in the game, Vinatieri converted a 48-yard field goal to secure the Patriots’ first Super Bowl title.
17 years ago today, Adam Vinatieri delivered a memorable Super Bowl-winning field goal against the Rams in SB36. This was just the start of the Patriots dynasty. pic.twitter.com/iXaDfPhrys
— SportsTalkFeed (@SportsTalkFeed) February 3, 2019
2. Makes Another Super Bowl Winning Kick Against Carolina In SB 38
Just in case anyone thought it was an accident that Vinatieri delivered the clutch kick two years prior, he did it again.
Once again, the Patriots held the lead for most of the game.
After a scoreless third quarter, the score at the beginning of the fourth quarter was 14-10.
Carolina outscored the Patriots 19-18 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough.
Vinatieri showed his steel nerves and steady leg with a 41-yard game winner that Bill Belichick reminisced about after hearing the news of Vinatieri’s retirement.
No moment was too big for him, and he delivered over and over again.
Bill Belichick calls Adam Vinatieri's kick against the Panthers "probably one of the underrated kicks Adam had," in part because the Panthers had a great field goal block team.
Carolina blocked three kicks that season.
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) May 27, 2021
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) February 1, 2018
1. Makes Two Huge Kicks In the Snow Bowl
On the path to the Super Bowl against the Rams, there was an epic playoff game against the Oakland Raiders played at Foxboro.
There was four inches of snow on the ground, and Vinatieri had to make two clutch kicks, one to tie the game and one to win in overtime, to send the Patriots to the Super Bowl.
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) May 26, 2021
Though the game is largely remembered for the “Tuck Rule” play from Tom Brady, Vinatieri’s ability to convert those kicks in awful weather conditions was legendary.
The game tying kick was a 45-yarder, and the winner was a 23-yarder.
Here is how Coach Belichick described the winning kick in 2018:
“The conditions were very difficult. There were probably three to four inches of snow on the ground. It was a soft snow that kind of didn’t go away. I mean, there was no way to get around it. The magnitude of the kick was significant. It’s got to be the greatest kick of all time.”
His former New England Patriots quarterback commemorated his retirement also.
Vinatieri is the NFL's most decorated kicker and all-time leading scorer. 🏆
Congrats to Adam on an unbelievable career. pic.twitter.com/rSOEfavry6
— Religion of Sports (@religionofsport) May 27, 2021
Vinatieri converted 599 field goals and 874 extra points in his legendary NFL career.
Drilling down to just three iconic moments was difficult, and there were great moments while he was with the Colts also.
No matter if you agree with the list or not, we can all agree Vinatieri’s accomplishments will never be duplicated.