Top Ten Lists are subjective…Top Ten Plays of the Day, Top Ten Destinations, Top Ten Hotels. As the Guardians of the Game, we here at the "Most Inspiring Place on Earth," we get the privilege of studying the game and its players with a great historical perspective . At our fingertips are 40 million documents and hours of audio and video archives of the game’s players talking about what made them great. We will share with you Lou Groza and George Blanda speeches.
With that, this is a collective effort of our Top Ten based on statistics alone. You will see amazing completion rates for the modern day players. This does not speak to what is considered a “clutch” moments, although that soon will be a new analytic coming at you. Archivist Jon Kendle gives you his perspective and ranks his top five kickers. When you vote in our poll, choose your five and see where you land against Jon. Obviously by naming only five, Jon is a man who has it down pat, and we don’t mean “Point After Touchdown” You can see Jon at [email protected]
10 Greatest Kickers in NFL History
10. Matt Stover
Cleveland 1991-95; Baltimore 1996-2008; Indianapolis 2009
All-Pro, Pro Bowl (2000)
XXXV (Ravens) champion
Career success rates: 83.7 percent FG (471 made), 99.5 percent PAT
2,004 career points in 297 games (19 seasons)
Stover made his name with the Ravens. As great as the defenses he shared a locker room with were, he was about as good as a kicker can be for the PAT.
9. Jason Elam
Denver 1993-2007; Atlanta 2008-09
3-time All-Pro, 3-time Pro Bowler
Super Bowl XXXII, XXXIII champion (Broncos)
Career success rates: 80.7 percent FG (436 made); 99.4 percent PAT
1,983 career points in 263 games (17 seasons)
Elam was one of the most prolific kickers of his era. He also owns the second-longest field goal in NFL history (63 yards).
8. Jason Hanson
All-Pro (1997), 2-time Pro Bowler
Career success rates: 82.4 percent FG (495 made), 98.8 percent PAT
2,150 career points in 327 games (21 seasons)
It doesn't matter what sport or position you play, you are probably doing it right when the same team holds on to you for 20 years. Hanson is the only kicker to ever be named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers Association.
7. Gary Anderson
Pittsburgh 1982-94; Philadelphia 1995-96; San Francisco 1997; Minnesota 1998-2002; Tennessee 2003-04
2-time first-team All-Pro, 4-time Pro Bowler
Career success rates: 80.1 percent FG (538 made); 99.2 percent PAT
2,434 career points in 353 games (23 seasons)
Anderson is quite simply the greatest kicker in the history of the greatest franchise of the Super Bowl era. For his troubles, the Steelers retired his No. 1 jersey.
6. Stephen Gostkowski
New England 2006-Present
2-time first-team All-Pro, 4-time Pro Bowler
Two Time Super Bowl Champion
Career success rates: 87.8 percent FG (352 made), 99 percent PAT
1,669 career points in 190 games (13 seasons)
Gostkowski could finish his career as the greatest kicker who ever lived. The only thing he's really missing is some of those high-profile moments. He missed a couple of kicks in Super Bowl LII, which certainly didn't help his cause. He still holds the NFL record for most consecutive PATs made with 523.
5. Jan Stenerud
Kansas City 1967-1979, Green Bay 1980-82, Minnesota 1984-85
6-time all-league, 4 Pro Bowls, 1972 Pro Bowl Outstanding Offensive Player
Super Bowl IV champion
Stenerud is the first “pure” placekicker to enter the Hall. His list of outstanding achievements is long. With 1,699 points, he ranked behind only the fabled George Blanda in all-time scoring at the time of his retirement.
4. Adam Vinatieri
New England 1996-2005; Indianapolis Colts 2006-Present
3-time first-team All-Pro, 3-time Pro Bowler
Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX (Patriots) and XLI (Colts) champion
Career success rates: 84.3 percent FG (570 made), 98.2 percent PAT
2,535 career points in 343 games (24 seasons)
Vinatieri is arguably the most famous kicker in NFL history, thanks to the three field goals that sealed Super Bowl wins for New England three different times and one miraculous kick in snowy Foxboro to beat the Raiders in the "Tuck Rule Game." He also needs just 10 points to surpass Morten Andersen as the NFL's all-time leading scorer.
3. George Blanda
Chicago 1949, ‘50-58; Baltimore Colts 1950; Houston Oilers 1960-66; Oakland 1967-75
4-time AFL All-Star
1961 AFL MVP, 1970 NFL MVP (Bert Bell Award)
Career success rates: 52.4 percent FG (335 made); 98.3 percent PAT
2,002 career points in 340 games (26 seasons)
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1981
Blanda was as good as a passer as he was a kicker, once tossing seven touchdowns in a single game. He played professional football in four different decades. He has kicked more extra points than any player in pro football history and is the kicker on the All-Time All-AFL Team.
2. Morten Andersen
New Orleans 1982-94; Atlanta 1995-2000, ’06-07; New York Giants 2001; Kansas City 2002-03; Minnesota 2004
6-time All-Pro, 7-time Pro Bowler
Career success rates: 79.6 percent FG (565 made), 98.8 percent PAT
2,544 career points in 382 games (25 seasons)
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2017
Andersen was the premier kicker throughout the 1980s. It was his longevity that made him a legend that kicked in three different decades. Second kicker elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class 2017
1. Lou Groza
Cleveland 1946-59, ‘61-67
4-time first-team All-Pro, 9-time Pro Bowler
4-time NFL champion (1950, ’54-55, ‘64)
Career success rates: 54.9 percent FG (264 made), 97.2 percent PAT
1,608 career points in 268 games (21 seasons)
Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1974
Groza's career wasn't about the stats. It was about him revolutionizing the kicking game. He was the first kicker to be considered a threat to put points on the board from 40-50 yards out. The Hall of Famer raised the bar for kickers. Today, the Lou Groza Award is given to college football's top placekicker.