Is Adam Vinatieri The Most Clutch Player In NFL History?

Adam Vinatieri

Is Adam Vinatieri The Most Clutch Player In NFL History? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

Word came down last Wednesday that Adam Vinatieri was retiring from the NFL nearly a year and a half since he last played. The news brought back wonderful memories for fans of the Patriots and Colts, and probably not such great memories for Raiders fans; but in his retirement, NFL fans are asking a simple question: Is Adam Vinatieri the Most Clutch Player in NFL History? 

People love to mention year after year that Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Four years earlier a place kicker from South Dakota State played one year for the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe before signing as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots, his name was Adam Vinatieri. 

What did Adam Vinatieri do during his 24-year career? Well, he retired as the all-time leader in scoring and was part of 231 regular season wins, the most in NFL history. 

Do you remember the “Tuck Rule” game? Do you realize that the 48-year-old Adam Vinatieri made the game-winning kick that night in January 2002 to give the New England Patriots the win? Do you know that Vinatieri is the owner of not one, but two Super Bowl winning kicks? In other words, Tom Brady might be 5-5 in the Super Bowl, not 7-3 if not for Adam Vinatieri. 

In fact, Adam Vinatieri made 29 game-winning kicks in his career, accounting for almost 10% of the wins his teams in New England and Indianapolis had during his playing days. To put that in perspective, the leader among quarterbacks in fourth quarter game-winning drives is Peyton Manning with 28.

Points are easy to tally, and wins are so often a team effort in the NFL; but being a clutch player can only be seen to be appreciated and enjoyed. Adam Vinatieri is clutch personified when it comes to place kickers, he will be the gold standard that others are measured against for as long as they play professional football. And yes, #4 will one day be enshrined in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and like all those games he won, some genius coach or pretty boy quarterback will introduce him, but it will be Adam Vinatieri who will close the proceeding, just as he did so many times on NFL fields.

Bravo to Adam Vinatieri on an amazing NFL career – and to all the other place kickers in the league, the bar has been set, good luck trying to kick the ball over it. And to answer the question: You may not be able to say that any place kicker is more clutch than a quarterback, running back or a cornerback since all of them play on an island, but if you don’t believe Adam Vinatieri is at least in the conversation as the NFL’s most clutch players, then you just don’t understand football. 

 


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Is Adam Vinatieri The Most Clutch Player In NFL History? | TooAthletic.com

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