Colts Lack Of Accountability With Adam Vinatieri Still Costing Them Games

Colts Lack Of Accountability With Adam Vinatieri Still Costing Them Games

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Colts Lack Of Accountability With Adam Vinatieri Still Costing Them Games

Through 9 games this season, Adam Vinatieri has missed 11 kicks. And the Colts deserve all the blame in continuing to trot out their inconsistent kicker.

Joe Robbins | Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts have admitted the leash is longer for Adam Vinatieri.

Nine games into the 2019 season, that leash is tangled around more trees than you can count, and it continues to cost the Colts (5-4) football games.

For an organization that preaches accountability endlessly, they haven’t followed through on that with their kicker.

Vinny missed another extra point on Sunday---that ugly looking hook, which has been his nemesis ever since he injured his plant leg back in August.

It’s now 11 missed kicks on the season (6 extra points and 5 field goals), with 10 of those coming from 46 yards or shorter. Eight of the 11 have missed to the left.

While some guy named Jason Sanders was striping big kicks from longer than that for the Dolphins on Sunday, Vinny’s extra point miss once again laid a large chunk of the blame on his right leg.

Following the embarrassing loss---and finally for the first time all season---Frank Reich’s words were not the broken record of ‘all the confidence in the world in Vinny.’

“Really no comment,” Reich initially said when asked about sticking with Vinatieri for the rest of 2019. “We have been committed to him, but like everybody, I’d say this generally speaking about our roster, I mean obviously just coming off the field, we’re going to always evaluate, everybody gets measured and everyone is held accountable. From top to bottom, that’s always the case, so nothing meant to read into that, that’s just the reality of this business.

“There’s been no discussions about that, between Chris (Ballard) and I. That’s just the business.”

The Colts have the worst placekicking unit in the NFL. If you said the same thing about their pass protection group or run defense, changes would be made.

But, I guess, not at kicker.

It’s a double standard the Colts have created, with blind loyally pointing at Vinny’s incredible resume.

Debating Vinatieri's future first ballot Hall of Fame status is stupid (he is), but acting like a soon-to-be 47-year-old kicker is the same guy we saw 3, or 5, or 10 years ago is foolish.

Even last year, Vinny was not an above average kicker in the league, with some notable misses late in the season.

In 2019 losses to the Chargers, Steelers and Dolphins, Vinny has missed an extra point in each of those games, along with 3 field goals, as well.

Missed extra points in narrow wins against the Titans and Broncos could have easily cost the Colts, too.

Finding an outside answer to become a 90 percent field goal kicker is not realistic. But finding a free agent kicker to be better than 70 percent on extra points (Reich said after the game the league average is around 96-97 percent) is realistic. Hell, that Sanders guy is a perfect 12-of-12 on extra points this year.

You don’t have to search hard for the Colts publicly stating the standard for their franchise.

“We have to demand more from everyone in this organization and we can’t have any weak links,” Jim Irsay said earlier this year. “End of story. Period. If there are, then we have to make changes and iron them out and go forward.”

“At the end of the day, winning is what drives us all,” Chris Ballard says.

Those words continue to fall on hallow ground though when it comes to the placekicking situation in Indianapolis.

The Colts have played with fire far too many times with their kicking unit in 2019.

And they’ve gotten burned to the point where it’s costing them a victory, at home, against a 1-win football team.

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