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TOPIC: Adam Vinatieri has made plenty of tougher kicks in

Adam Vinatieri has made plenty of tougher kicks in 3 months 1 week ago #1301

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his career. The two last-second field goals to win Super Bowls Youth Al Woods Jersey , a 45-yarder through the snow to win a playoff game and 46 field goals from at least 50 yards in the regular season and postseason.Vinatieri's 25-yarder at the end of the second quarter in Indianapolis' 42-28 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday will surely be one he never forgets.With that kick, Vinatieri passed Hall of Famer Morten Andersen to become the NFL's all-time leading scorer. He added three extra points in the fourth quarter to give him 2,550 for his career — six more than Andersen."I never thought I'd play that long," said the 45-year-old Vinatieri, who is in his 23rd NFL season. "I never thought I'd be standing here talking to you guys about all-time records. But I love my teammates — all of them — for the last 20-something years, unselfishly going out there and helping me do my job. A lot of great memories along the way. I think that's the best part about this day — less the record and more that we got the record in a win."Vinatieri wasn't sure the record would come this week after re-injuring his right groin last week against Buffalo. He was limited in practice this week but was healthy enough to play the game.He made an extra point and a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter to tie Andersen's record before hitting the kick at the end of the half that made him No. 1 by himself."I played against him back in 2007, when he was in Atlanta and it might have been about his last year and I just thought, 'Man, this is unbelievable. This is a record that will never be touched,'" Vinatieri said. "He's done it so long for so many years and so prolifically , that you know I just thought, man, it's untouchable. But I guess as you keep going and you just stack years upon years, the numbers start stacking up."Vinatieri entered the league with New England as an undrafted free agent out of South Dakota State. He won the job with the Patriots his first season and helped the team reach the Super Bowl.Vinatieri reached legendary status in the 2001 season when his 45-yard field goal on a snowy night shortly after the Patriots were given a reprieve by the "Tuck Rule" against the Raiders forced overtime in a playoff game. He kicked a game-winner in overtime to send the Patriots to the AFC championship game.He then made the winning 48-yard kick on the final play of the Super Bowl to lead the Patriots to their first championship and help launch a dynasty.Vinatieri made the winning 41-yarder two years later with four seconds left to help New England beat Carolina for a second title. He won the Super Bowl again the following year with New England and then after the 2006 season with the Colts.He's still going strong more than a decade later."I really don't think we fully appreciate what just happened, or really playing with Vinny," quarterback Andrew Luck said. "He doesn't make a big deal out of anything. He approaches everything with such a professionalism and humility and deflects attention, that I think we get blinded to how great — truly great, great — he is. I love playing with him. He's taught me so much about how to handle yourself and about how to be a pro."Ranking the Colts’ defensive position groups With cutdowns in sight, we’re going to take a look at each position group and rank them from the best to the worst. First up is the Colts defense. Young and inexperienced, this group could struggle mightily Cheap Jordan Wilkins Jersey , and could hamstring the team if they aren’t able to score early and often. This defense also has the potential to exceed expectations by developing ahead of schedule or having an unknown player break out. Let’s take a look at them.BestSafetyBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsThe Colts have a solid group of safeties. Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers together in the backfield could be a truly great pairing provided they can both stay healthy. If they cannot however, Mathias Farley has proven himself to be a reliable backup. Farley has developed after spending time as an above average starter in Geather’s and then Hooker’s absence. T.J. Green has been the butt of many jokes, but if a new scheme and better coaching can bring him along, he has all the skills to be a big contributor on defense. Defensive LinePhoto by Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesThe defensive line doesn’t have obvious stars, but what they do have is a whole host of quality players. The talent level from top to bottom doesn’t suffer from a huge gap, and in this case that might make them a pretty good group. While the team could certainly use a Dwight Freeney or Robert Mathis, they will be able to be moderately successful if they can get regular, if not astounding production from their linemen. Jabaal Sheard will likely be their most productive rusher once the season gets underway. John Simon and Hassan Ridgeway have been preseason darlings, but if they can continue their play into the regular season, this team could be a much more competitive defense than what many expect. CornerbackKirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsThe cornerbacks are a worrisome spot on this roster. Quincy Wilson was supposed to be the next starting corner Margus Hunt Jersey , and yet he struggles in practice with regularity and can go long stretches where he seems ineffective and overmatched. To be fair to him, he also has made some good plays and has flashes at times where he seems to have all the tools of a starting CB1.Kenny Moore has been a pleasant surprise after being signed as an undrafted free agent for the Colts last season. He likely gets the majority of his looks out of the slot corner spot, where he can put his good instincts to use.Pierre Desir looks like a reliable enough starter, but certainly isn’t a player who the Colts can or should build around. He makes some plays as needed, and doesn’t make glaring mistakes, which makes him a valuable contributor, if not a long term solution. Then there is Nate Hairston. Hairston looks like a good depth player and did well in the slot, but has been inconsistent as well in the offseason so far. Beyond these four the depth is poor and none of these players are costing a quarterback much sleep unless they really have a breakout year. WorstLinebackerPhoto by Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesThe linebacker position is definitely the shakiest on the defense for this Colts team. If my depth chart ends up being correct, 5 of 6 players in this linebacker group will have 1 year or less of playing experience at the NFL level. That is pretty insane! A group that is so raw and unproven is a scary thing. Young players make mistakes. They have to learn and grow, and often that comes with some pains. In a new scheme with new players surrounding them and a new level of play facing them as they transition to the NFL Cheap Braden Smith Jersey , this will be a group that will likely at times be very frustrating to watch. On the up side, there is some potential among many of these players, and a group that is so full of young and talented players is one that could develop into a powerhouse with the right coaching and some luck. For now though, it is a group that is likely to struggle, although it will be a much more exciting group to watch than in some past seasons.
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