Unfortunately, the kickers don’t always seem to get the credit that I think they deserve. Sure, they only play a few seconds a game, and their bodies are not subject to the rigors of the game that players in other positions have to deal with, but the physiological side of the kicking game is massive, and the best kickers have learned to master their minds, and their fear of failure as millions of eyes watch them.
There have been scores of excellent kickers in the NFL over the decades (and a few not so good ones too!). In a football scoreboards feature, I have listed the top 5 to have ever played the game.
5 – Lou Groza
You have to be a little older to have experienced quite how good this kicker was. He was the NFL player of the year in 1954, and was voted into the 1950’s team of the decade. The football scoreboards showed that in this time he starred in no less than 9 Pro Bowls. His most famous moment was when his field goal in the NFL Championship of 1950 won the title for his team the Cleveland Browns. His nickname was “The Toe,” which was clearly, along with his nerves, made of steel.
4 – Jan Stenerud
Jan Stenerud is known as one of the very most consistent kickers ever to have played the game. In a successful career that started in the 70’s and ended in 1985, he never missed a game due to injury or illness, and he was always “Mr.Reliable,” and just the player you would want on you team for those nerve racking important kicks. In 1991 he became the very first placekicker (who did not play in another position) to make it into the Hall of Fame.
3 – Adam Vinatieri
Vinatieri was without doubt the star kicker of the decade which has just passed, and he made the NFL All-Decade team for the 2000’s. No one has had done what he did: namely kick for two Superbowl wins on the deciding play of the game. In addition, he will always be famous for his two field goals which tied and then won the game in the “Snow Bowl.” Many kicking fans have marked those two kicks down as the very greatest in the history of the NFL.
2 – Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson’s name is synonymous with records. He made the Team of the Decade in the 80’s and 90’s. He became the first kicker to have a perfect season, which means that he did not miss a simple field goal or extra point over the entire season. He retired in 2004, he had amassed over 2400 points and 530 field goals, which broke all NFL records.
1 – Morton Anderson
Morton Anderson then came along and burned passed Gary Anderson’s records with ease. With over 2500 points scored in a 382 game career, he was named to no less than 7 Pro Bowl rosters. Anderson’s career spanned an unbelievable 25 years, and he is undoubtedly the most popular kicker ever to have played the game.
For more information on Morten Andersen, go to: