When the Indianapolis Colts put out a congratulatory video for Adam Vinatieri when he became the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, there was one surprise among the line of Colts giving him a digital pat on the back – New England Patriots quarterback and current foe Tom Brady.
Vinatieri, who kicked for the Patriots as well as the Colts, passed Morton Andersen as the league’s new points leader with a 25-yard field goal just before halftime in the Colts road game against the Oakland Raiders Sunday, per ESPN.
The field goal allowed him to surpass Andersen’s old record of 2,544. He made two field goals and four extra points in the Colts 42-28 victory over the Raiders, improving Indianapolis’ record to 3-5 on the season.
His former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy led the video cheers for Vinatieri along with former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Reggie Wayne, center Jeff Saturday and former defensive star Robert Mathis.
In the middle of the video featuring Colts players was the statement from Brady.
“Hey Adam, congratulations on the NFL scoring record,” Brady said on the video, which went viral with more than 44,000 views in a matter of hours. “What an incredible accomplishment. You deserve it. You made the biggest kicks in the biggest games and I loved playing with you. And I’m always cheering for you, except when you’re playing against the Patriots. But I love you, man. Congrats.”
Indeed, Brady has a lot to be grateful to Vinatieri for. Two of the veteran’s field goal specialist’s biggest kicks came in the final moments that led to Brady Super Bowl victories when he was with New England.
In Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002, his field goal in the final seconds allowed the New England Patriots to complete a 20-17 upset victory over the St. Louis Rams, with Brady securing most valuable player honors New Orleans.
In Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004, Vinatieri booted a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left to give New England a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers, leading to Brady’s second most valuable player award.
Vinatieri would move on to Indianapolis where he would win his third Super Bowl with the Colts, but this time he did not have to make any game-winning kicks. Manning led Indianapolis to a 29-17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in Miami in 2007.
He has been credited with 27 game-winning field goals and held the NFL-record with 44 straight field goals without a miss, a streak that ended during the 2016 season. ESPN stated that Vinatieri has made at least 80 percent of his attempts in 16 of his 23 seasons.