No one scored more touchdowns in NFL history than receiver Jerry Rice. But one man scored twice as many points: kicker Morten Andersen.
Sure, that’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. But that’s what the Pro Football Hall of Fame is about. And if ever a kicker deserved to kick down a door that has been shuttered for too long, it’s Andersen.
The Denmark native, known as the “Great Dane,” was so prolific throughout his 25-year career that he ranks as the leading scorer in NFL history, New Orleans Saints history and Atlanta Falcons history. He was a member of both the 1980s and 1990s all-decade teams.
Andersen is eligible for enshrinement for the third time on Saturday as he’s aiming to become just the second true kicker elected and the first since Jan Stenerud way back in 1991.
Andersen has remained humble about his own candidacy, but he has been candid in recent years about feeling that the time is right for a kicker to get into the Hall -- especially during an era in which he told me that kickers are “getting so good that we have to change the rules.”
As Andersen cracked in an interview with The Times-Picayune last year, Stenerud “needs a drinking buddy.”
Andersen, who also spent time with the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings, was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro. He holds the NFL records for points scored (2,544) and games played (382). And his 360-game scoring streak is the longest in NFL history by nearly 100 games.
Andersen even has on his resume a game-winning 38-yard overtime field goal that sent the Falcons to Super Bowl XXXIII.
The biggest knock on Andersen is probably his accuracy. He was good in that department but not elite, making 79.7 percent of his career attempts. But Andersen was hardly just a “compiler.” Andersen had one of the NFL’s strongest legs, setting then-records for the most 50-yard field goals in a career (40) and a season (eight in 1995).
And you don’t last as long as he did unless a lot of coaches have faith in you -- including the likes of Dan Reeves, Bum Phillips and Jim Mora, who has described Andersen as a “weapon.”