INDIANAPOLIS --- Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked his 25th game-winning field goal (and 7th in a Colts uniform) in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime Sunday , when his 27-yard attempt split the uprights with 4:41 left in OT to give the Colts a 16-13 win over the Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.
"Game-winners are the same but different," said Vinatieri in the locker room after the game. "It's the same kick, but at the end of the game there's the excitement level. The intensity level is there."
Vinatieri's latest game-winning field goal was his 7th in Indianapolis but first in overtime with the Colts. It was also his 218th with a horseshoe on his helmet, breaking Mike Vanderjagt's franchise record.
"They're coming hard. Our guys are doing everything they can to block them up, which they did really well," Vinatieri continued. "It's just exciting. It's fun to be able to finish the game, help finish the game. No exception today. It was a fun one today."
Vinatieri's 10 points Sunday (three field goals and one extra point) also moved him past Vanderjagt for most points in Colts history with 1,004. Vinatieri is now the only player in NFL history with 1,000 points on two different teams (he was already the first with 900 points on two teams as well).
Those ten points included a 54-yard field goal in the first quarter, tying for the third longest in his career. Vinatieri was 28-years-old when he hit that 54-yarder with New England against Cleveland on December 9th, 2001. 14 years later? Still got it.
At age 42 and in his 20th season in the league, the man with a leg of gold seems to care more about the golden rule though than talking about his own accolades, constantly answering questions about his accomplishments with praise for his teammates.
"It just means I've been around for quite a while," said Vinatieri about becoming the franchise's all-time leading scorer. "I've been part of a great organization here and a lot of good teams in this locker room. Having an opportunity to go out there again today and just do my part, that's what my job is."
And again, no exception on this day, giving credit to the three players that made Vinatieri's decisive kick easier than an extra point.
"The guys up front did a great job. (Holder) Pat (McAfee), (long snapper) Matt (Overton), they make my job a heck of a lot easier, and I gotta thank Mr. (Frank) Gore for taking that ball down nice and close to make it not quite as far of a kick," said Vinatieri.
Gore's 3rd and 5 run for 22 yards on the final drive of the game made what could have been a 43-48 yard attempt into the eventual 27-yard chip shot.
Along with the win, Vinatieri broke a tie with John Carney to move all alone into 4th place on the NFL's all-time field goals made list:
Player Field Goals Years
Morten Andersen 565 1982-2007
Gary Anderson 538 1982-2004
Jason Hanson 495 1992-2012
Adam Vinatieri 481 1996-2015
John Carney 478 1988-2010
What did #4 care about most though after his 25th career game-winning kick? Not the stats...just the win.
"They're really hard to come by. So anytime we can get one we'll take it for sure. It was a hard fought game. Guys never gave up," said Vinatieri. "These guys just have a ton of grit in this locker room. They find a way to get it done. Never stop fighting, and good things happen."
Vinatieri continues to build a resume worthy of joining Jan Stenerud one day as just the second pure placekicker in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Adam Vinatieri's Game-Winning Field Goals with the Colts:
Opponent Date Yards Time Score
at Denver 10/29/06 37 00:02 34-31
vs. Kansas City 11/18/07 24 00:03 13-10
at Minnesota 9/14/08 47 00:03 18-15
at San Diego 11/23/08 51 00:00 23-20
vs. Tennessee 1/2/11 43 00:00 23-20
vs. Minnesota 9/16/12 53 00:08 23-20
vs. Jacksonville 10/4/15 27 4:41 16-13 OT