How many times have NFL fans been watching a currently-tied game and your favorite team calls on their kicker? As fans we expect the kicker to make their kicks 100% of the time, especially if the game is on the line.
Think about all the times that we have heard fans comment, "He has one job and its not that hard."
When watching an NFL game, focus on the kicker on the sidelines. They are constantly kicking the football into the net trying to stay warm.
Think about sitting on the sidelines for majority of the game and having to come out and nail a 55-yard field goal. Now add the pressure of winning a regular season game. Pretty simple, if the kicker misses 'it's okay there is always next week'. But what if it's an NFL Playoff game?
Now think of this – it's the NFL Super Bowl and there are four seconds left in the game. The team is trailing by two points and if the kicker makes it they win the Super Bowl, and if he misses they lose.
That is why it is one of the most difficult positions to play.
On that note, let's take a look at how these five NFL kickers became the greatest of all time.
5) John Carney (San Diego Chargers)
John Carney played a total of 302 games in his 25 years in the NFL. He spent 19 years with the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints before making stops with Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Kansas City, New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. Carney is fifth on the all-time scoring list in the NFL.
John Carney's NFL Accomplishments:
- One Super Bowl Ring
- One NFL All-Pro Selection
- Two NFL Pro Bowls
John Carney's NFL Stats:
- Field Goals Made: 478
- Field Goals Attempted: 580
- Extra Point Made: 628
- Extra Point Attempts: 638
- Total Points Scored: 2,062
4) Jason Hanson (Detroit Lions)
Jason Hanson would spend 21 years with the Detroit Lions. He would not play for another NFL team in his career. This is almost unheard of in today's NFL. Kickers are being released constantly and for Hanson to stay with one team for 21 years is remarkable. He is sitting at number four on the NFL all-time scoring list.
Jason Hanson's NFL Accomplishments:
- 1992 NFL All-Rookie Team
- Two NFL Pro Bowls
Jason Hanson's NFL Stats:
- Field Goals Made: 495
- Field Goals Attempted: 601
- Extra Points Made: 665
- Extra Points Attempted: 673
- Total Points Scored: 2,150
3) Gary Anderson (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Gary Anderson would play 353 total games in the 23 years that he spent in the NFL. He represented the Pittsburgh Steelers for 13 years and holds majority of the Steelers' kicking records.
In 1998, Gary Anderson would make all the 35 field goals he attempted and all the 59 extra points as well. Hitting 100% in both the categories is difficult for any kicker. Anderson is number three on the NFL all time scoring list.
Gary Anderson's NFL Accomplishments:
- Pro Football Hall-of-Fame 2nd team All-1980's Team
- Pro Football Hall-of-Fame 2nd team All-1990's Team
- 1982 NFL All-Rookie Team
- Four NFL Pro Bowls
- One NFL All-Pro Team
Gary Anderson's NFL Stats:
- Field Goals Made: 538
- Field Goals Attempted: 672
- Extra Points Made: 820
- Extra Points Attempted: 827
- Total Points Scored: 2,434
2) Morten Andersen (New Orleans Saints)
Morten Andersen played in a total of 382 games in a 25-year long NFL career. Andersen played majority of his career for the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons. He is the only kicker in the NFL points scored list who has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame. Morten Andersen is currently second on the NFL all-time scoring list.
Morten Andersen's NFL Accomplishments:
- Pro Football Hall-of-Fame 1st team All-1980's Team
- Pro Football Hall-of-Fame 1st team All-1990's Team
- Seven NFL Pro Bowls
- Three NFL All-Pro Teams
- Inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame
Morten Andersen's NFL Stats:
- Field Goals Made: 565
- Field Goals Attempted: 709
- Extra Points Made: 849
- Extra Points Attempted: 859
- Total Points Scored: 2,544
1) Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis Colts)
Adam Vinatieri played in a total of 365 games in 24 years in the NFL. He would play for just two teams – 14 years with the Colts and 10 years with the Patriots. Vinatieri is the only kicker on the list to win multiple Super Bowls and only player on the list to win a Super Bowl with two different teams.
Adam Vinatieri's NFL Accomplishments:
- Pro Football Hall-of-Fame 1st team All-2000s Team
- 1996 NFL All-Rookie Team
- 2015 NFL Top 100
- NFL 100 All Time Team
- Three NFL Pro Bowls
- Three NFL All-Pro Teams
- Four Super Bowl Championships
Adam Vinatieri's NFL Stats:
- Field Goals Made: 599
- Field Goals Attempted: 715
- Extra Points Made: 874
- Extra Points Attempted: 898
- Total Points Scored: 2,673