New England Patriots: 16 most important Patriots during their dynasty
By Brian Hines
4. Adam Vinatieri
The Ringers Rank: 3
Through his time in New England Vinatieri proved to be the most clutch kicker in NFL History. The Patriots are three or four field kicks away from not having any of their first three Super Bowl titles.
In 2001, Vinatieri nailed one of the greatest kicks ever in a heavy snow against Oakland. The 45-yard boot tied the game and eventually, the Patriots went on to win in overtime. Later that postseason, Vinatieri nailed the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXXVI as time expired.
The Patriots went on to win two more Super Bowls in Vinatieri’s days, both by three points. Vinatieri kicked the game-winning 41-yarder with nine seconds left against Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
"“[After that kick] the franchise took a turn … from an ‘eh, whatever’ team to where they are now,” Vinatieri says. “There a lot of little moments in your life that can transform the rest of your life. I try not to think about what happens if I miss that thing.”"
After signing with New England as an undrafted free agent, Vinatieri suited up for 160 games in a Patriots uniform. He made 154 of 185 field goals and 227 of 230 extra point attempts under Belichick.