Adam Vinatieri won two Super Bowls for New England with last-second field goals.
He made a long field goal in a driving snow storm to beat Oakland in a memorable playoff game.
But he couldn’t even make a 29-yard attempt with the game on the line Sunday night as the Chargers scored an improbable 23-21 win over Vinatieri and the Indianapolis Colts.
"I should make that kick every time," Vinatieri said. "There are no good excuses. I just missed it."
There were no good excuses for the way the Chargers’ offense played, either. Quarterback Philip Rivers had arguably his worst game as a pro and the offense could muster only 50 yards in the second half after San Diego raced to a 23-0 lead by midway in the second quarter.
But who would have thought that Peyton Manning would throw a career-high six interceptions, and Vinatieri would miss a 42-yard field goal attempt as the first half expired to match his second half futility?
This game belonged to San Diego’s special teams and two special players.
Darren Sproles returned two kicks – a punt and kickoff – for touchdowns.
Antonio Cromartie, the man many thought should be returning kicks instead of Sproles, intercepted three passes in his first career start.
The Chargers have a lot to feel good about. They just beat the defending Super Bowl champs, and they lead the weak AFC West by one game over Denver and Kansas City.
Even so, the win left many with an empty feeling. They know that unless the offense starts to really pick it up, the Chargers once again won’t be playing deep into the playoffs.