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Colts’ Adam Vinatieri’s missed field goal in first half of Chiefs game was his first career misfire from 23 yards or closer

Adam Vinatieri

Going into Saturday night, Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri had never missed a field goal from 23 yards or closer over the course of his 24-year NFL career.

That may sound like a strange and arbitrary statistic, but it definitely had relevance on Saturday evening, as Vinatieri ended up missing a 23-yard chip shot toward the end of the first half of the Colts’ Divisional Round matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs:

That stings.

Vinatieri is probably the last kicker you would expect to misfire on such an easy kick in a playoff game, as the 46-year-old is well-known for his cold-blooded field goals in the harshest of conditions.

His legend began while with the New England Patriots in January 2002, when he made two crucial field goals in a controversial Divisional Round postseason win over the Oakland Raiders that became known as the “Tuck Rule Game.”

In a brutal snowstorm, Vinatieri nailed a 45-yard boot to send the game into overtime and then finished the Raiders off with a 23-yarder in the extra session, sending the Patriots to the AFC Championship Game.

Of course, New England would eventually go on to win the Super Bowl that season, marking the first of four Super Bowl titles in Vinatieri’s career (three with the Patriots, one with the Colts).

This season, Vinatieri had made 23 of his 27 field goals and was perfect on boots between 20 and 29 yards, going 8-for-8.

He has made three Pro Bowls and has earned three First-Team All-Pro selections over the course of his illustrious career.