Colts’ Vinatieri breaks NFL career scoring record

Adam Vinatieri has scored 2,547 career points. (AFP pic)

OAKLAND: With his 25-yard field goal in the second quarter Sunday in Oakland, Indianapolis Colts placekicker Adam Vinatieri became the all-time leading scorer in NFL history.

A horde of teammates crowded to congratulate Vinatieri after the record-breaking kick.

Vinatieri entered the day needing five points to pass the Hall of Famer Andersen, who scored 2,544 points during a 25-year career spent mostly with the New Orleans Saints (1982-94) and Atlanta Falcons (1995-2000, 2006-07).

Vinatieri, who turns 46 in December, kicked an extra point with 8:21 left in the first quarter and tied Andersen with a 26-yard field goal on the last play of the first to tie Andersen. His second field goal, with 26 seconds left in the half, made him the new NFL scoring king with 2,547 points.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame tweeted a video message from Andersen offering his congratulations.

“I want to congratulate you on breaking my all-time scoring record and also my all-time field-goal record,” said Andersen, who was enshrined in Canton in 2017. “Great job. Very proud of you. And, hey, one day I’ll see you right here in Canton, Ohio. Good job, buddy.”

Vinatieri’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Raiders had been in doubt after he injured his left groin in last week’s win against Buffalo, a game in which he missed two extra points for the first time in his 23-year career.

This is Vinatieri’s 13th season with the Colts. The three-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection began his career with New England in 1996 and won three Super Bowls with the Patriots before adding a fourth ring in his first season with Indianapolis in 2006.

He entered the day with a record 571 field goals, six more than Andersen.

Gary Anderson ranks third on the NFL scoring list with 2,434 points, with Jason Hanson (2,150) and John Carney (2,062) rounding out the top five.