Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal with no time left started the Patriots’ dynasty. Keep in mind that in 2001, NFL place-kickers converted 46.8 percent of 48-yard attempts. Vinatieri had converted only 58.3 percent of attempts between 40 and 49 yards. The win probability model accounted for the indoor environment of the Superdome, and at the worst the Patriots were going to overtime with the Rams. But in those days, it was a relatively low-percentage attempt.
The drive that led to Vinatieri’s kick included so many memorable plays, but the Patriots’ win probability swung most dramatically after Brady’s 23-yard pass to Troy Brown. The play put the ball at the Rams’ 36-yard line, nearly in Vinatieri’s range, with 29 seconds remaining. It was the first time during the drive when the Patriots had a better than even chance to win.
Once Colin Kaepernick opts out, San Francisco will have no quarterbacks under contract. That’s a bold strategy. Let’s see how it works out for them. The first order of business for new coach Kyle Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch: Find a quarterback. This is why they were smart to get six-year contracts.
Good question, Alex. I just wasn’t wearing one the day of the photo. I seem to recall it being really hot outside. Probably a good thing I went sans tie because neck sweat from having your dress shirt buttoned all the way to the top is the absolute worst. You can’t hide that with a suit coat. Maybe ESPN will update our glamour shots in the spring. But I doubt that’s high priority at the network!
Garrett attended the show at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and spoke to an ESPN social media producer, who asked whether there was a specific team he might want to join in the NFL. His answer was “100 percent supposed to be fun,” the producer said.