INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – There were no excuses.
“I had a lousy game,’’ Adam Vinatieri said. “I sucked.’’
The NFL’s oldest player at 46 is in his 24th season and stepped on the field for his 386th game, including the postseason, Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.
It undoubtedly ranked as one of his most forgettable.
In the Indianapolis Colts’ 30-24 overtime loss to the Chargers, the NFL’s career scoring leader failed to tack up what would have been a game-altering 7 points. Vinatieri pushed an opening PAT wide right in the first quarter and pulled a 46-yard field goal attempt wide left on the final play of the first half. After knocking down a 44-yarder in the third quarter, he again was wide left on a 29-yard attempt in the fourth quarter.
In the locker room after the game, Vinatieri stood in front of the media, recapped his travails and took full blame.
“First one I kicked I thought I made and it just veered off to the right,’’ he said. “And then I started probably overthinking and over-analyzing and trying to work through stuff. I wish I could tell you (why). I’ll go check out the film and see why they didn’t go where they were supposed to.’’
Vinatieri dismissed any excuses, including a possible injury to his big toe. He also dealt with a knee injury during the preseason.
“No, I’m fine,’’ he said. “There’s no excuses on that. I just didn’t kick well.
“It was me, 100 percent.’’
His teammates, Vinatieri added, “played well enough to win and I didn’t help them out at all. Any one of those misses goes through and it’s a different game. Obviously I feel lousy, but I feel more lousy because the guys played their butts off against a really good Chargers team.
“They played well enough to win and I didn’t help them out. I mean there’s a few things that didn’t go our way, but a majority of them were my lousy kicking.
“I totally let ‘em down and it kinda sucks.’’
Sunday was the first time in Vinatieri’s career he had missed two field goal attempts and a PAT in the same game. Including the playoffs, he had converted 172-of-176 attempts of 29 yards or shorter.
Ironically, Vinatieri also missed a 29-yarder in the final 2 minutes against the Chargers in 2007 that enabled them to escape with a 23-21 victory in San Diego.
“We have the greatest kicker of all time and he didn’t have a good day,’’ Frank Reich said. “It was a tough day, but he’s the one guy I’m not worried about.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.