adam vinatieri-indianapolis colts Dec 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri (4) misses a field goal during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to incentive bonuses, Adam Vinatieri cannot catch a break.

Last year, the Colts kicker narrowly missed out on $500,000 after his final field goal attempt of the season sailed off target, dropping him below the 90 percent threshold he needed to cash in. This year, he might fall short of the same mark thanks to two kicks he missed in the middle of a Buffalo blizzard on Sunday.

As ESPN points out, Vinatieri entered Sunday’s game 22 of 23 on the season, or 95.6 percent. Then he missed two field goals — one from 33 yards out, the other from 43 yards — knocking him down to 22 of 25 or 88 percent. Essentially, he went from being a near lock for 90 percent to needing an extremely strong performance over the Colts’ final three games.

Of course, it’s quite tough to blame Vinatieri for his failings. Here’s what the kicker was up against.

Though the weather held Vinatieri back on field-goal attempts, he still managed to play hero for the Colts. After Indy tied the game with a touchdown with just over a minute to play, Vinatieri stepped up for one of the most difficult extra points in NFL history. The kick appeared substantially off but curved back through the uprights for a miracle game-tying conversion (though the Bills wound up winning 13-7 in overtime).

That extra-point attempt doesn’t count toward Vinatieri’s field-goal percentage, but it seems as though count for… something.

In order to hit 90 percent for the season, Vinatieri need to make his next five kicks — if he even gets five attempts over three games. Anything less than 5-for-5 will cost the legendary kicker half a million bucks. That said, if Vinatieri winds up just a bit short of the threshold, the Colts ought to recall the snowstorm, recall the heroic extra point and give him his well-earned bonus anyway.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.