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Hall of Fame finalist: Morten Andersen

The 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be announced on Jan. 31. Kicker Morten Andersen is one of 18 finalists.

This is the third year of eligibility for the “Great Dane,” who was so prolific over his 25-year career that he ranks as the all-time leading scorer in NFL history, New Orleans Saints history and Atlanta Falcons history.

The Denmark native spent his first 13 years in New Orleans from 1982-1994. He had two stints in Atlanta (1995-2000 and 2006-07) and also spent time with the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings.

Along the way, Andersen compiled NFL records of 2,544 points, 382 games played and a streak of scoring at least one point in 360 consecutive games -- which is the most in NFL history by nearly 100 games.

Andersen was a member of the NFL’s all-decade team for both the 1980s and 1990s, a seven-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro. He made one Super Bowl appearance after his 38-yard overtime field goal lifted the Falcons over the Vikings in the 1999 NFC championship game.

“It’s obviously very humbling, and it just reminds me once again of all the great men that have busts in Canton and all the men, myself included, even being considered for induction,” said Andersen, who was glad to see punter Ray Guy finally break through for enshrinement last year but knows it’s tough for specialists.

Jan Stenerud is the only full-time kicker in the Hall of Fame.

“That’s for those 46 or 47 guys to figure out on Saturday before the Super Bowl. My work’s done,” said Andersen, who called himself “realistic” and said he knows a lot of others have been waiting a long time. “Regardless of whatever happens, it’s certainly been a great career for me, and I’m proud of that and grateful for all the people coaches that helped me along the way. It’s been a great journey.”

Andersen made the final 15 for the first time last year, but he didn’t make the cut down to the final 10.