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Adam Vinatieri’s career as an NFL kicker didn’t exactly get off on the right foot: he missed four of his first seven field goals and also missed an extra point during his first three games.
But in his fourth game, Vinatieri hit five of six field goals including an overtime kick that won the New England Patriots the game and saved him from being cut by coach Bill Parcells.
That kick was a precursor of things to come as Vinatieri has booted a ridiculous number of game-winning field goals during his 22-year career, including two Super Bowl clinchers.
While he likely won’t have a chance to replicate that feat this upcoming season for the Indianapolis Colts, Vinatieri is poised to write his name in the NFL record books this year by breaking the league’s all-time scoring mark of 2,544 points, currently held by former Saints and Falcons kicker Morten Andersen.
Had he not hit that game winner way back in 1996, the NFL’s soon-to-be leading scorer says he would’ve been a surgeon.
“I thought I was one bad game away, maybe one kick away, from the end of my football career. I was very close to going home to South Dakota, and probably going to medical school,” Vinatieri said. “If I’d only played two, three years, or I’d have been cut that first year, I’d have tried to do it. But once it got to be seven, eight, nine years, I wasn’t leaving pro football.”
With 823 career points, the 45-year-old Patriot-turned-Colt needs 58 points to set the mark. Over the past three years, Vinatieri has averaged 114 points a season, so look for him to break the record right before or after the Colts’ Week 9 bye week in early November.Read the full story at Sports Illustrated