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|# 09 Jan, 2019 03:04|
Adam Vinatieri remembers New England fondly.In 10 seasons Authentic Quenton Nelson Jersey , he won three Super Bowl rings, was dubbed the league's best clutch kicker and became the top scorer in franchise history. He has made the routine kicks look easy and the impossible ones look routine while earning the respect of two of the league's greatest coaches and one of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks..On Thursday, the 45-year-old kicker and the NFL's newly crowned career field goals leader returns to his former home stadium, perhaps for the final time."I suppose any person who's played somewhere for a certain amount of time and then has the opportunity to go back and just reminisce a little bit, maybe it holds a different feeling than some of the other places," Vinatieri said Tuesday. "But I'm thinking more about how can we get a win and right the ship and get back where we need to be."Vinatieri knows better than to expect a warm welcome for the Colts (1-3) and himself.Since signing with the dreaded Colts as a free agent in March 2006, Vinatieri has watched the video tributes former stars like Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James received when they returned to Indy with new teams. He's seen former players such as Jeff Saturday and Robert Mathis, and former coaches like Frank Reich come back to work inside the organization.But New England treats former players and coaches differently.Vinatieri shrugs off the chorus of boos he's heard at Gillette Stadium over the past dozen seasons, choosing instead to focus on those who acknowledge afterward just how much they actually respect him for having such a big hand in each of the franchise's first three Super Bowl titles.Back in 2006, New England figured it could find a cheaper, younger kicker than Vinatieri and the truth is, it worked out perfectly for both sides. Vinatieri found a home inside the controlled climate of Lucas Oil Stadium and has gone on to chase bigger and better milestones. His replacement with Patriots, Stephen Gostkowski Authentic Ryan Kelly Jersey , broke Vinatieri's franchise scoring record and is currently ranked No. 18 all-time with 1,642 points as the Pats (2-2) have gone 8-4 against Vinatieri's Colts. New England has won six of seven in Foxborough and seven straight in the series — including the 2014 AFC championship game, better known as "Deflategate."Still, Vinatieri seems to be aging like a fine wine.He made two more field goals Sunday to break Morten Andersen's career mark of 565 and heads back to New England needing one field goal attempt to break a tie with Gary Anderson (672) for second all-time. With 26 points, Vinatieri will break Morten Andersen's career scoring record (2,544 points), and Vinatieri just passed Hall of Famer George Blanda for fourth in games played."I'm the second oldest guy in the locker room and my first year of playing football was his second year in the league," Matt Slauson, the Colts' 32-year-old right guard, said recently. "So he's not only had one incredible career, he's essentially had two incredible careers with two different teams. It's amazing."The least surprised guy on the field Thursday might be Bill Belichick, who was an assistant coach on Bill Parcells' staff when Vinatieri won the Patriots' kicking job in 1996 over 18-year veteran Matt Bahr.Belichick watched the rookie kicker save his job with a 40-yard field goal into the wind and rain in a Week 3 victory over Arizona and make a textbook tackle while chasing down Herschel Walker to save a touchdown later that season.He will never forget the two kicks Vinatieri made in the Snow Bowl/Tuck Rule Game, the first to force overtime and the second to eliminate the Raiders in the divisional round Womens Matt Slauson Jersey , or the two last-minute Super Bowl winning kicks Vinatieri made to beat the Rams and Panthers."Certainly, in my opinion, the greatest kicker in the game. Not just for his longevity and production but again the magnitude of some of the kicks that he made and the difficulty," Belichick said on a conference call with Indy reporters this week. "Back in 2001, it seemed like every game came down to the last possession or the last kick. Every point was critical. Those games we won in 2001 and 2003 — especially in the early part of the year in 2003 — were all close games and tough ones. Adam came through for us with some enormous kicks."Now, though, things clearly are winding down.Vinatieri signed a 1-year deal this offseason to stay in Indy and the current scheduling format doesn't have the Colts playing another round-robin against the AFC East until 2022.So if this is his last stand in New England, the South Dakota native whose great-great grandfather served as General George Custer's bandmaster has one goal: win one more time."It very well could be. Shoot, any game could be your last game ever, you know, so I haven't contemplated that too terribly much," he said. "It's a game that we really must win, we need to win and that would be a real good way to stick it to them."2018 Week 3: College Football Open Thread Heading into week three of the College Football season Womens Jabaal Sheard Jersey , there are many intriguing matchups that college football fans and NFL scouts will have their eyes on. Here’s a preview of the biggest games of the day to get you ready for Saturday football:No. 5 Oklahoma @ Iowa State (12:00 PM ET)Reese Strickland-USA TODAY SportsOklahoma is one of the premier teams in college football led by their skilled signal caller at quarterback Kyler Murray. Oklahoma has already dominated their first two games of the year against skilled teams in UCLA and FAU. Other notable players to watch on Oklahoma are WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, OT Bobby Evans, and WR CeeDee Lamb.Iowa State is no slouch though. The Cyclones did pull off the upset last season so expect them to put up a good fight today. Notable player to watch on Iowa State is their dominant RB David Montgomery as he looks to continue his strong play.No. 12 LSU @ No. 7 Auburn (3:30 PM)Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsIn a game loaded with NFL prospects, LSU heads to Auburn at 3:30 PM. LSU has gotten off to a fast start this season after dominating higher ranked Miami in week one of the season. Led by Ohio State transfer Joe Burrow at quarterback, LSU appears to be a very good team this year. Watch out for Devin White on the defensive side of the ball as well as he appears to be a top tier prospect in the 2019 draft.Auburn is the likely favorite in this game led by quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Stidham is getting a lot of NFL buzz this season and potentially could be the top quarterback drafted in the 2019 NFL draft.No. 17 Boise State @ No. 24 Oklahoma State (3:30 PM ET)Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY SportsBoise State travels to Oklahoma State in a battle between top 25 teams. Boise State features a very underrated quarterback prospect in Brett Rypien who many have already touted as the most underrated QB in the 2019 draft class. Keep an eye on him and the Boise offense today.Oklahoma State features a bunch of NFL caliber guys on the offensive side of the ball. They still have an elite passing offense but their true difference maker is running back Justice Hill. Expect a big game from the running back. No. 1 Alabama @ Ole Miss (7:00 PM ET)John David Mercer-USA TODAY SportsAs always Alabama rolls into Ole Miss with the top team in football. Led by young star Tua Tagovailoa at QB, the Crimson Tide look to repeat as National Champions. Also keep an eye on WR Jerry Jeudy, LB Mack Wilson, and S Deionte Thompson.Ole Miss is absolutely loaded at WR though and will test this Alabama defense. Damarkus Lodge, DK Metcalf, and AJ Brown all look to be top NFL prospects and will be a handful for the Crimson Tide today. No. 4 Ohio State @ No. 15 TCU (8:00 PM ET)Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsThe biggest game of the day features the No. 4 Buckeyes traveling to TCU. Ohio State features an explosive offense with a stout defense that is hard to score on. Keep an eye on DE Nick Bosa as he looks to be a potential top 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.TCU is a good consistent team though that features a very impressive pass rush. DE Ben Banogu is their top prospect on defense as he is a traditional sack artist who will get his tonight for sure.
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