It’s hard to fathom that the league’s best clutch kicker would be on the verge of getting cut, but Adam Vinatieri is. It happens in this league. Kickers come and they go. If the nameplate on the back of Vinatieri’s jersey said any name other than that he’d be cut this week during the bye.
His two missed field goal’s this year were once easy chip shots for him and the misses came at very bad times. The miss in Chicago would have put the Colts down one possession with big momentum going into the half. Instead, the miss killed all morale and Indianapolis came out flat.
The miss against Jacksonville proved to be the most costly of all. With late in the fourth quarter and a make puts his team in the lead, Vinatieri is usually clutch. He makes all of those kicks hence the term Adam Vinatieri time.
His chip shot Sunday was too far off for him. He had the home crowd behind him kicking opposite the open window and he flat out choked. That kick if he made it would have meant all he needed to do was kick another chip shot in the final seconds to pull out the win.
Three for three in the final four minutes all from inside the 40-yard line is what Vinatieri does best. That’s what we signed him to do. Instead, the miss put the Colts on their heels and put them in bad situations in the final stages of the game. Instead of kicking the game winning field goal, Andrew Luck was forced to heave a short pass at T.Y. Hilton in triple coverage in the end zone.
We brought Vinatieri to Indianapolis to make the kicks that he’s missed. Now, he’s missing the easy ones that would be the difference in us winning and losing. That usually means it’s time for him to go.
Don’t feel bad for him either. Vinatieri is a very stand up guy and has had a great career. He’s kicked 24 game winning field goals and is the 11th best accurate kicker in NFL history. His 1,766 career points is the most among active AFC players. Out of 29 kicks within 40-yards with the Colts at home, Vinatieri only missed one of those coming into Sunday’s game. He makes those 96.5 percent of the time.
When the time came to make the field goal in which he only had a 3.5 percent chance of missing, he missed it. Now, don’t get all up in the air saying well he made the one that counted in the end, it was the defenses job to stop the terrible offense. I will fire back with we pay Vinatieri well to make those kicks in those situations and he’s statistically good in those situations. That’s two he’s missed now in three games and the one he did make was barely good. I’m stating that this team is in deep rebuild mode and if the kicker is hurting you it’s time to get someone that’s less expensive and will actually make those kicks. We paid him for these situations and he’s not cutting it this year.
He’s just lost a step and there’s nothing us or Vinatieri can do about it. He’s had a great career, but it’s time to move on.