NFL fans who tuned into the game between the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts on Sunday were treated to one of the snowiest games in recent memory.
While it was fun to watch, and while it was certainly fun for the Bills, who won in overtime, it wasn't as exciting for the Colts - particularly kicker Adam Vinatieri.
Vinatieri was 0-for-2 on his field goal tries on Sunday, though attempting kicks of any distance in that kind of weather was a fool's errand.
However, to add insult to injury, Vinatieri's wallet will now likely be affected, too. In fact, according to an ESPN.com report, those two misses on Sunday could end up costing the veteran kicker a cool half a million dollars:
"Vinatieri's field goal percentage dropped to 88 percent (22 of 25) after he went 0-for-2 on field goal attempts during blizzardy conditions at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York, against the Bills on Sunday," the report reads. "He would receive a $500,000 bonus for making 90 percent of his field goal attempts (with a minimum of 16 attempts) this season. He went into Sunday's game having made 95.6 percent (22 of 23) of his field goal attempts."
Obviously, Vinatieri still has three more games to try to get his field goal percentage back above 90, so if he keeps making kicks at the rate he was before the blizzard game, he should be fine.
Following that wacky game on Sunday, though, Vinatieri weighed in on what made kicking in those conditions so difficult. He told ESPN.com that having to deal with both wind and snow made it nearly impossible to get a good read on his kicks:
"The footing for sure [was the toughest]," Vinatieri said after the Colts' 13-7 overtime loss, in which he missed a 43-yard attempt that would have won the game, and a 33-yard attempt. "Trying to run through snow and get good plant -- that's crazy. If it was just snow and no wind, it's one thing. But you get both of them. It was a tough game."
Obviously, Sunday was a setback, but Vinatieri is one of the best kickers in NFL history, so it wouldn't be wise to count him out just yet. As a 22-year veteran of the NFL, the $500K likely isn't going to affect Vinatieri's family or bank account too much, but it would be incredible to see a 44-year-old (soon to be 45) kicker reach the 90-percent plateau for the sixth time in his storied career.
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