Wild Card: Adam Vinatieri K, Indy
Vinatieri is the rare kicker that actually has a chance at the Hall of Fame.
After basically having two great careers with two different teams, the veteran kicker decided to give it another year and return to Indianapolis this past season. However, they may not be happy with the results so far.
Last week, he was just 1 of 3 on field goals and 1 of 2 on extra points. While he has missed at least two extra points in 3 of the last 4 seasons, the bigger concern is the field goals.
In LA with no weather issues at all, he made just 33% of those kicks and it is the continuation of a bad trend. Since 2014, his field goal percentage has dropped steadily.
Obviously that is more than a 10% drop in the five years between 2014-2018, and this year is off to a very bad start.
As one of the oldest players to ever play football (47 this season), I am not going to question his longevity or say he is too old because people have been doing that for years and it has made them look stupid.
What I will say is that being a kicker is about confidence as much as it is leg strength. Going into a hostile stadium (not like L.A.) after a bad performance the week before and after an offseason of people questioning whether you will continue to decline, how confident can you be in your leg?
If this game comes down to a field goal, AV’s instincts may kick in and give him another highlight. However, if this game is decided by 3 points or less and he doesn’t get a chance to kick, it may be because at some point in the game he took points off the board by missing a makeable kick along the way.