Yesterday, I looked at the career leaders in fourth quarter/overtime game-winning field goals. It’s fun — in a purely trivial way — to see which kickers have made the most game-winners, but that’s only half the story. What about which kickers have missed the most key field goals?
I looked at all field goal attempts since 1994 that came when the game was tied or the kicking team was trailing by 1 or 2 points. I did not make any adjustments for era, or distance, or weather, since this is a trivia post on a Sunday in May. That said, man was Todd Peterson good at missing key field goals. Like, really, really good.
He missed 17 of his 34 field goal attempts in this situation; not only was that 50% rate the worst for any kicker with more than five misses, but his 17 misses truly lapped the field.
|33||Al Del Greco||22||17||5|
You can see all 17 of Peterson’s missed field goals here. The list includes four misses from 50+ yards, and 7 from 40-49 yards, including two in overtime. Then it gets really bad: a missed 38-yard field goal, trailing by 3 with less than two minutes to go; a missed 37-yarder in a tie game, that his team ultimately lost. There’s a missed 28-yarder, a missed 23-yarder, and two overtime kicks from within thirty yards that were blocked.
Sebastian Janikowski has 12 misses, but three of them came from 58, 64, and 65 yards, and two more from 52 and 48 yards away; that leaves him with 7 misses from inside of 45 yards. Adam Vinatieri has 11 such misses, a good number for the clutchest kicker to ever miss two field goals in a Super Bowl. Two of those were from 50+, but he also has a surprising 8 from inside of 45 yards, including six from inside of 40 yards. You can view those here. On the other hand, Vinatieri also leads the group with 52 makes, so the takeaway again may just be that Adam Vinatieri sure has attempted a lot of field goals.