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Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri in 2007
No. 4     Indianapolis Colts
Personal information
Date of birth: December 28, 1972 (1972-12-28) (age 37)
Place of birth: Yankton, South Dakota
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
College: South Dakota State
Undrafted in 1996
Debuted in 1996 for the New England Patriots
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Field Goals Made     338
Field Goals Attempted     412
Field Goals %     82.0
Long Field Goal     57
Stats at

Adam Matthew Vinatieri (born December 28, 1972 in Yankton, South Dakota) is an American football placekicker currently playing for the Indianapolis Colts. He has played in five Super Bowls, four with the New England Patriots and one with the Colts, winning all but one. (The Colts went to Super Bowl XLIV but Vinatieri was a healthy scratch.) Vinatieri won a Super Bowl in 2007 with Indianapolis and won Super Bowls in 2002, 2004, & 2005 with the Patriots. Vinatieri is the first kicker ever to play in five Super Bowls and win four Super Bowl rings. His only Super Bowl loss came in Super Bowl XXXI in 1996, against the Green Bay Packers, 35-21.

Vinatieri is generally considered to be one of the best clutch kickers in the history of the National Football League.[1] Nicknamed "Automatic Adam" for his accuracy, and "Iceman" for his incredible poise under pressure, Vinatieri has converted several of the most crucial field goals in NFL history, including game-winning kicks in the final seconds of two Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII).



Adam and his wife Valeri and their two children reside in Carmel, Indiana during the football season and Celebration, Florida during the off-season. He is the second of four children. His great-great grandfather is Felix Vinatieri, an Italian immigrant who served as Lt Col George Armstrong Custer's bandmaster [2][3]. Adam said in an interview that Lt Col Custer told Felix Vinatieri to head back to camp instead of going ahead with the regiment to Little Big Horn, and that this decision saved his great-great grandfather's life. He is also a third cousin to the famous daredevil, Evel Knievel[4] and second cousin to scientist and author Tim Foecke.

A collection of Felix Vinatieri manuscripts and instruments can be found at the National Music Museum located in Vermillion, South Dakota.[5]

His hobbies include hunting, riding motorcycles and golfing.



High School

Adam attended Central High School (Rapid City, South Dakota) and was a letterman in football, wrestling, basketball, cross country, soccer, and track. In football, he earned first team All-State honors as a senior. He graduated from Central High School in 1991.

College career

Vinatieri was originally recruited to kick for Army and attended West Point for two weeks in 1991 before deciding to return home to South Dakota.[6] He was a four-year letterman at South Dakota State University as a placekicker and punter. He finished up his college years of football as the school's all-time scoring leader with 185 career points scored. (His younger brother Beau was a place kicker at Black Hills State University before graduating in 2003).

Early Professional Career

He spent the fall of 1995 training to compete professionally. He received a tryout for the World League of American Football (later rebranded as NFL Europe), now defunct, and earned a roster position with the Amsterdam Admirals as a placekicker and punter.

New England Patriots

In 1996, he was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent to be a place kicker. He played in New England for the first 10 years of his NFL career, during which he played in four Super Bowls, winning three. His first Super Bowl appearance was in his rookie season of 1996, when he played with the Patriots in their 35-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. One of his kickoffs in the Super Bowl was returned by Desmond Howard a Super Bowl record 99 yards for a touchdown, winning the game for Green Bay.

In the 2001 playoffs, during a blizzard against the Oakland Raiders in the final game at Foxboro Stadium, Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal to tie the game 13-13 and send it into overtime. The Patriots then won the game on another field goal of 23 yards by Vinatieri.

In Super Bowl XXXVI he kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play to give the New England Patriots their first Super Bowl victory, a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams. Two years later, and in an almost identical situation, he kicked a 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII to boost the Patriots to another championship (after missing one field goal and having another attempt blocked in the first half). This time, the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers, 32-29, making Vinatieri the first player ever to be the deciding factor in two Super Bowl games (Vinatieri kept the balls used on both of these kicks).

Vinatieri led the NFL in scoring in 2004 with 141 points (31-for-33 on field goals, and a perfect 48-for-48 on points after touchdown or PATs). His best game of the season came against the St. Louis Rams, against whom he scored 16 points (4 field goals, 4 PATs), and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown on a fake field goal attempt (that pass gives him a career passer rating of 122.9). [7] He went on to score a field goal and 3 extra points in the Patriots 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

To date, Vinatieri has kicked 20 game-winning field goals with less than one minute remaining (out of 21 attempts; his lone miss came in 1999), including those mentioned in the postseason. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, he had a career field goal percentage of 81.9 percent (263/321), fifth highest in NFL history. His career long is 57 yards.

In his time in New England, he was very active in his home town and state which includes helping Christian athletes, D.A.R.E., and the Governor's Highway Safety Bureau. He was a spokesperson for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island's teen anti-smoking contest, and also appeared in commercials for Boston-based pizza Papa Gino's.

Vinatieri finished his 10 seasons with the Patriots as the team's all time leading scorer with 1,158 points.

The Patriots have not re-issued Vinatieri's #4 since he left the team.

Indianapolis Colts

After the 2005 season, the Patriots chose not to place the franchise tag on Vinatieri as they had the year before, allowing him to become a free agent. He had visited with the Green Bay Packers, but left without a contract offer. On March 22, 2006, Vinatieri signed with the Indianapolis Colts, replacing Mike Vanderjagt who was signed by the Dallas Cowboys. Vinatieri was signed to a five year contract and received a $3.5 million signing bonus.

"When the Colts called, I told my agent, `Let's not screw around,' " said Vinatieri, in his first extensive comments regarding his departure from New England. "I told him, 'If Indy is interested, let's get this done.'" ... Vinatieri said he has no regrets about not giving the Patriots a chance to counter the offer.[8]

Vinatieri has had one kick blocked in the RCA Dome. With the New England Patriots, Vinatieri was perfect against the Colts in Indy.

In the second round of the 2006 AFC playoffs, Vinatieri kicked a playoff record-tying 5 field goals in the Colts' 15-6 upset of the favored Baltimore Ravens. The record of 5 field goals in a playoff game is one Vinatieri originally set himself against the Colts in the 2003 AFC Championship game.

The Colts reached Super Bowl XLI after defeating the Patriots in the AFC Championship game. It was Vinatieri's fifth Super Bowl appearance, and his first with the Colts. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears by a score of 29-17. Vinatieri was 3 for 4 on field goals, and 2 for 2 on points after touchdowns. He missed a 36 yard kick wide left at the end of the first half--the third time he has missed a kick in the Super Bowl. Although the Colts scored 3 touchdowns, the snap for the first point after was bobbled by the place holder, resulting in no kick. Super Bowl XLI is his fourth Super Bowl victory, one behind the record held by Charles Haley. Vinatieri finished the 2006-07 postseason with 49 total points and 14 field goals, both NFL records. He is the only player to have 3 or more field goals in 4 consecutive postseason games.

During the week 10 game of the Colts' 2007 season against San Diego, Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal wide right with 1:34 remaining that would likely have given the Colts a 24-23 victory; it was the first time he had missed a fourth-quarter game-winning kick since October 10, 1999, against the Chiefs. The Colts ended up losing the game.[9]

During the week 12 game of the Colts' 2008 season against San Diego, Vinatieri redeemed himself by making the last-second game-winning kick (a 51-yarder) to lift the Colts over the Chargers 23-20.

In July 2009, Vinatieri had surgery on his right hip to alleviate a nagging injury, but the Colts expected that he would be ready for the season.[10] However, Vinatieri struggled early in the season and complained of soreness in his knee. Doctors found loose cartilage in an MRI, and Vinatieri underwent arthroscopic surgery during the Colts' bye week.[11] He was expected to miss 4-8 weeks while recovering. The Colts signed former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover to replace him. There has been speculation over whether the Colts could cut Vinatieri, but Colts president Bill Polian stated that Vinatieri will return when he is 100% healthy.[12]. Vinatieri would remain injured for the entire 2009 regular season as well as thoughout the Colts' postseason run to Super Bowl XLIV.[13]

Career stats

These statistics are accurate as of December 30, 2009.

Season PAT PAT Pct. 1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ FG-FGA FG Pct. Long Points
1996 39/42 92.9% 1/1 9/10 8/8 8/14 1/2 27/35 77.1% 50 120
1997 40/40 100.0% 0/0 11/11 7/9 6/8 1/1 25/29 86.2% 52 115
1998 32/32 100.0% 3/3 8/8 9/14 9/12 2/2 31/39 79.5% 55 125
1999 29/30 96.7% 1/1 14/14 5/7 5/9 1/2 26/33 78.8% 51 107
2000 25/25 100.0% 0/0 11/13 8/9 7/8 1/3 27/33 81.8% 53 106
2001 41/42 97.6% 1/1 8/8 7/8 7/12 1/1 24/30 80.0% 54 113
2002 36/36 100.0% 0/0 6/6 12/12 8/10 1/2 27/30 90.0% 57 117
2003 37/38 97.4% 0/0 16/17 4/8 5/8 0/1 25/34 73.5% 48 112
2004 48/48 100.0% 0/0 13/13 7/7 11/12 0/1 31/33 93.9% 48 141
2005 40/41 97.6% 0/0 7/7 9/10 4/6 0/2 20/25 80.0% 49 100
2006 38/38 100.0% 1/1 3/3 12/13 9/10 0/1 25/28 89.3% 48 113
2007 49/51 96.1% 1/1 14/15 8/10 0/2 0/1 23/29 79.3% 39 118
2008 43/43 100.0% 0/0 3/3 11/13 4/7 2/2 20/25 80.0 52 103
2009 17/18 94.4% 0/0 3/3 1/2 2/2 0/1 7/9 77.8 48 38
TOTALS 514/523 98.0% 8/8 125/130 108/130 85/120 10/22 337/411 82.0% 57 1528

Honors and awards

  • 4-time Super Bowl Champion (2001, 2003 & 2004 New England Patriots, 2006 Indianapolis Colts)
  • 2003 Pro Bowl starter
  • 2005 Pro Bowl starter

NFL records

  • Most postseason field goals in a career: 42
  • Most consecutive games in a single postseason with 3+ field goals: 4
  • Most points in postseason, career: 177
  • Most field goals in a single postseason: 14
  • Most Field Goals Lifetime in Super Bowl: 7
  • Most Extra Points (One Point) Lifetime in Super Bowl: 13
  • Total points in a single postseason: 49 in 2006 (surpassing Terrell Davis' previous record of 48)
  • Most Field Goals in a single NFL postseason game: 5 (tied with six others); achieved twice, with the Patriots vs. the Colts in the 2003-04 AFC Championship, and with the Colts vs. the Baltimore Ravens in 2006


Vinatieri stars in a television commercial for the Snickers candy bar with the tagline, "Split the Uprights with Adam Nougatieri."[14]


External links


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