Vinatieri is 45 years old, and still kicking very well. He is still doing well despite his age, but how is he able to keep up his extraordinary production?
Adam Vinatieri has now been kicking in the NFL for 22 seasons. Next season will be number 23. He has been able to be one of the top kickers in the league for many years now. He was selected as an All-Pro as recently as 2014, when he was 41. How has he done it?
One reason he has been able to be so dominant for so long is his ability to still kick long field goals. Last season his season long was 54 yards. His career long is 57 yards, which he kicked in 2002. It is remarkable to still be able to hit kicks that long at this age.
The other remarkable thing about his leg strength is his consistency in being able to hit long field goals. Every year of his career except one, in 2007, he has hit a kick of at least 48 yards. What is also incredible is the number of 50+ yard field goals that he has attempted in the last few years. Before 2011, he had not attempted more than three 50+ yard kicks in a season. Since then, he has attempted at least five such kicks every season except one.
Vinatieri’s ability to be reliable in kicking situations has been a crutch that the Colts can rely on. But sometimes it might be too much. The increase in the number of long field goals the last few years points to the offense being ineffective and forcing the team to try to salvage points. Just because he is still very good doesn’t mean that the Colts shouldn’t be more aggressive on offense.
Hopefully Vinatieri can continue his great kicking ways this upcoming season and, if he chooses, in more seasons to come.