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Adam Vinatieri passes Morten Andersen on scoring list

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Move over, Morten Andersen: There's a new NFL all-time points leader.

Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri moved ahead of Andersen when he made a 25-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in the first half against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Vinatieri went into the game needing five points to pass Andersen's 2,544 career points.

The game was stopped briefly, and many of Vinatieri's teammates met him on the field to congratulate him. Vinatieri tied Andersen with an extra point and 26-yard field goal in the first quarter.

"I never thought I'd play this long and have the opportunity to be standing here talking about this right now," Vinatieri said. "There's been a lot of great kickers that I've looked up to for a long, long time. …l I love my teammates, all of them, for the last 23 years unselfishly, for going out there and letting me do my job and help me do my [job] and make a lot of great memories along the way."

There was a possibility that Vinatieri would have to wait until after the Colts' bye week to pass Andersen because he suffered a groin injury on the first of his two missed extra points in the team's Week 7 game against Buffalo. The Colts worked out several kickers early in the week and Vinatieri didn't practice Wednesday before testing his groin out in practice Thursday.

"I'm not gonna lie to you, I was a little sore at the beginning of the week," Vinatieri said. "We brought in a couple of kickers to see, if I couldn't go, and I hate watching anybody for a day doing my job."

Passing Andersen, who had held the top spot since he retired in 2007, is just another accomplishment for Vinatieri on his road to likely being a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer. The 45-year-old Vinatieri moved ahead of Andersen for most field goals made in a career on Sept. 30 against Houston.

Vinatieri, who played at NCAA Division II school South Dakota State, began his professional career by making a stop in the now-defunct NFL Europe before getting a shot with the New England Patriots in 1996.

Vinatieri's first significant moment came when he made arguably the greatest kick in NFL history, a 45-yard field goal in a blizzard to get the Patriots to overtime, then made the winner to beat the Raiders in a playoff game in January 2002. That ignited New England's dynasty. Vinatieri has made 27 game-winning field goals, including in Super Bowl XXXVI and XXXVIII.

"Vinny has made a lot of big and great kicks throughout his career," Colts long snapper Luke Rhodes said. "The way he prepares and approaches the game has just been a blessing around the past two seasons. I just remember saying to myself that this snap is going to be on TV for a long time, I better make it perfect on the history-making play."

Vinatieri also made an NFL-record 44 straight field goals, a streak that ended during the 2016 season, and he has made at least 80 percent of his attempts in 16 of his 23 seasons.

Vinatieri spent the first 10 years of his career in New England, where he totaled 1,158 of his points before signing with the Colts as a free agent in 2006.

The 45-year-old Vinatieri refuses to put a timetable on how much longer he'll play. He just knows that he'll continue as long as he can help a team, and he closed out his media conference by saying that he wants to "set the record out further for the next guy" to try to break.