Best Kickers in NFL History – Who Are the Best Field Goal Kickers of All Time?
In NFL, the quarterback and the receiver are the two positions that take most of the fame. However, other positions can, depending on the situation have the same impact on the game.
The kicker position can be pretty ungrateful. These players spend most of the game sitting on the sidelines. Yet, whenever they are in the game they are expected to perform at their best.
This makes the field goal kicker one of the mentally most challenging positions in NFL.
Today, we break down the career of Justin Tucker, the greatest kicker of all time, as well as of nine others that made our top 10 best kickers of all-time list.
10. Matt Prater
- NFL teams: Denver Broncos (2007–2014), Detroit Lions (2014–2020), Arizona Cardinals (2021–present)
- Accolades: 2x Pro Bowl, 1x Second-team All-Pro
- Records: most single-season record extra points made (75), most 50-plus yard field goals made (70)
Image courtesy of azcardinals.com
We start our list of the best kickers in NFL history with Matt Prater. Prater is widely known as one of the best NFL long-distance kickers in history.
Thanks to his strength and accuracy, for a long time he held the league’s record with a 64-yard field goal, and he has a lifetime conversion rate of 83%.
Prater probably has one of the strongest legs ever seen on the football field, and they have allowed him to set some pretty amazing records. This includes the most 50 yards+ field goals in his career and the most extra points in a single season.
9. Jason Hanson
- NFL teams: Detroit Lions (1992-2012)
- Accolades: 1x Second-team All-Pro, 2x Pro Bowl, PFWA All-Rookie Team
- Records: most seasons played with one team: 21 (Detroit Lions), most games played with one team: 327 (Detroit Lions)
Image courtesy of detroitlions.com
Jason Hanson is ninth on our list of the greatest NFL kickers of all time, and the funny thing is that he would probably be even higher if he hadn’t spent his whole career with the Detroit Lions.
Spending two decades in the Lions uniform made him one of the most loyal players in NFL history as he holds the records for most seasons spent with one team as well as most games played with one team.
However, his loyalty probably cost him a lot of exposure and impacted his overall resume.
This did not stop Hanson from missing just seven PATs during his NFL career for a total field gold conversion rate of 82.4%. What might be even more impressive are his nine game-winning field goals in overtime, an all-time record.
8. Jan Stenerud
- NFL teams: Kansas City Chiefs (1967–1979), Green Bay Packers (1980–1983), Minnesota Vikings (1984–1985)
- Accolades: 4x First-team All-Pro, 2x Second-team All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowl, 2x AFL All-Star, 2x First-team All-AFL, 1x Second-team All-AFL, 1x Super Bowl Champion
- Records: N/A
Image courtesy of chiefs.com
When you are the first pure kicker to be selected into the NFL Hall of Fame, you deserve a spot on the NFL’s greatest kickers list, and Jan Stenerud accomplished just that in 1991.
By today’s standards, Stenerud’s 66.8% career field-goal percentage might not seem impressive, but he was a superstar in his era.
During his career, he led the league in field-goal percentage two times as well as the total number of field goals, also twice.
Not to mention that he was kind of an ironman. The Norwegian never missed a single game in the NFL.
7. George Blanda
- NFL teams: Chicago Bears (1949), Baltimore Colts (1950), Chicago Bears (1950–1958), Houston Oilers (1960–1966), Oakland Raiders (1967–1975)
- Accolades: 1x NFL Man of the Year, 1x AFL MVP (1961), 1x First-team All-AFL, 2x Second-team All-AFL, 4x AFL All-Star, 2x AFL passing yards leader, 1x AFL passing touchdowns leader, AFL All-Time Team, 3x AFL champion
- Records: Most seasons played (26), Most career extra points made (943), Most career extra points attempted (959), Most touchdown passes in a game (7-tied)
Image courtesy of britannica.com
George Blanda is one of the most versatile and durable players to ever set foot on the football field. He spent 26 seasons in the NFL and played as a kicker, a quarterback, and even as a linebacker.
He is one of two players to compete in four different decades. During his time in the NFL, he converted on 98.3% of his PATs and 52.4% of his field goals.
It is important to note that field goals were much more difficult to convert then than now.
Banda led the league in field goal percentage on three different occasions and holds the NFL records for most points scored and most extra points made.
6. Lou Groza
- NFL teams: Cleveland Browns (1946–1959, 1961–1967)
- Accolades: 1x NFL Most Valuable Player – SN, 4x AAFC champion, 4x First-team All-Pro, 2x Second-team All-Pro, 1x Second-team All-AAFC, 9x Pro Bowl, 1x NFL scoring leader, 4x NFL champion
- Records: N/A
Image courtesy of cleveland.com
When your nickname is “the Toe”, you are probably pretty good at kicking, and Lou Groza was just that.
At one point in his career, Groza owned every possible kicking distance and accuracy record in the NFL.
While his percentages are not so great, the thing that helped Groza made this list is his impact on the game.
When it comes to “the Toe,” the stats don’t matter, as he was a kicking maverick who raised the bar for to the kicker position and made it one of the essential pieces on NFL rosters.
5. Gary Anderson
- NFL teams: Pittsburgh Steelers (1982–1994), Philadelphia Eagles (1995–1996), San Francisco 49ers (1997), Minnesota Vikings (1998–2002), Tennessee Titans (2003–2004)
- Accolades: 2x First-team All-Pro, 1x Second-team All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowl, 1x NFL scoring leader
- Records: N/A
Image courtesy of espn.com
One of the things that made Gary Anderson a great kicker were probably his college days in which he played soccer.
His soccer kicking skills seamlessly transition to his football game and made him one of the best NFL kickers of all time.
The South African is the first kicker to convert every PAT and field goal in a regular NFL season.
If not for his miss in the NFC Championship game, he would probably be even higher on this list.
Anderson was also a part of the Minnesota team that set the record for most points scored in a season with 556. During that season he became the first player to achieve a 100% conversion rate on his field gold attempts and extra points.
He is third all-time in both field goals made and games played, and fourth in extra points made.
4. Stephen Gostkowski
- NFL teams: New England Patriots (2006–2019), Tennessee Titans (2020)
- Accolades: 2x First-team All-Pro, 1x Second-team All-Pro, 4x Pro Bowl, 5x NFL scoring leader, 3x Super Bowl champion
- Records: Most consecutive extra points made (523), Most seasons leading the league in points scored (5 – tied with Don Hutson and Gino Cappelletti)
Image courtesy of nbcsports.com
If you weren’t paying attention, you might have missed that Stephen Gostkowski was a vital part of the Patriots dynasty.
During his stay with the team, he led the NFL in scoring five times and earned himself a spot on the 2010s All-Decade Team.
In addition to holding the record for most seasons leading the NFL in points, Gostkowski also holds the record for most consecutive extra points made with 523, a record that probably will never be broken.
With 1,775 points, he is also the Patriots’ all-time leading scorer.
3. Morten Andersen
- NFL teams: New Orleans Saints (1982–1994), Atlanta Falcons (1995–2000), New York Giants (2001), Kansas City Chiefs (2002–2003), Minnesota Vikings (2004), Atlanta Falcons (2006–2007)
- Accolades: 5x First-team All-Pro, 1x Second-team All-Pro, 7x Pro Bowl, 2x Golden Toe Award
- Records: Most games played (382), Most consecutive games scoring (360), Most 50+ yard field goals in a game (3 – tied)
Image courtesy of neworleanssaints.com
Like Gary Anderson, Morten Andersen’s soccer career helped him achieve greatness in the NFL. During his time in the league, the Denmark-born kicker converted 565 field goals with a rate of 80%.
He holds the records for most games played, most consecutive games scoring as well as for most 50+ yard field goals in a game.
Andersen is also one of the first kickers to make a 60-yard field goal and the second pure placekicker to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Mr. Automatic also holds the New Orleans Saints record for most points scored with 1,318 points.
In his last season in the NFL, at the age of 47, he set his own single-season record by converting 89.3% of his field goals.
2. Adam Vinatieri
- NFL teams: New England Patriots (1996–2005), Indianapolis Colts (2006–2019)
- Accolades: 3x First-team All-Pro, 3x Pro Bowl, 1x NFL scoring leader, 4x Super Bowl champion
- Records: Most career points scored (2,673), Most consecutive field goals made (44), Most combined regular season and postseason games played (397), Most career field goals made (599), Most career field goals attempted (715), Most seasons with 100+ points (21), Most career overtime field goals (11), Most field goals made in a postseason (14 – tied with Evan McPherson)
Image courtesy of sportingnews.com
Thanks to his multiple heroics in Super Bowls, Adam Vinatieri is probably one of the best NFL kickers in the history of the league. During his 24 seasons in the NFL, he also became the NFL’s all-time leading scorer.
Vinatieri’s most impressive game in the 2001 AFC Divisional Round, was in the so-called “Tuck Rule Game” he would first convert on a 45-yard field goal despite terrible weather conditions that included snow and wind, and then hit a game-winning field goal with 23-yard kick.
The 4-time Super Bowl champion hit game-clinching field foals in Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX and engraved his name in NFL history forever.
Some of his many NFL records include the most career points scored, most consecutive field goals made, and most combine regular season and postseason games played.
1. Justin Tucker
- NFL teams: Baltimore Ravens (2012–present)
- Accolades: 5x First-team All-Pro, 3x Second-team All-Pro, 6x Pro Bowl, 1x Super Bowl champion
- Records: Career field goal percentage (90.5%), Longest field goal (66 yards), Most 50+ yard field goals in a game (3 – tied)
Image courtesy of espn.com
Justin Tucker might still be active, but in the 10 seasons, he spent in the league so far he has already made the name for himself as the best kicker in NFL history.
He holds the record for the highest field goal percentage with 90.5% as well as for the longest field goal in history with 66 yards.
During his career with the Ravens, his lowest field goal percentage was 82.5% and he missed only 4 of the 375 extra points attempted.
Another thing that impresses about Tucker is his performance under pressure. In his rookie season he hit a game-winning field goal with two seconds remaining versus New England.
He also hit a 47-yard field goal in double-overtime to send Baltimore to the AFC Championship Game.
The Baltimore Raven kicker is the first player to hit at least 30 field goals in six different seasons.