July 23, 2014

Highlighted Year: Morten Andersen, 1995

Placekicker, Atlanta Falcons

Age:  35
14th season in pro football, 1st with Falcons
College: Michigan State
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 221

The Danish, left-footed Andersen learned the art of placekicking as an exchange student in high school and went on to excel at Michigan State, where he connected on a 63-yard field goal against Ohio State. Chosen by the New Orleans Saints in the fourth round of the 1982 NFL draft, his pro career got off to a rough start when he missed most of his rookie year due to injury. However, he came back strong in ’83, was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first of four straight seasons in 1985, and was a consensus first-team All-NFL selection in 1986 and ’87. During 13 years in New Orleans, he kicked 302 field goals in 389 attempts (77.6 %), with 22 of those successful kicks coming from 50 yards or more, and added 412 extra points (missing six times) to become the franchise’s all-time scoring leader with 1318 points. He was chosen for the Pro Bowl twice more. In a surprising move, Andersen left the Saints for the rival Falcons as a free agent in 1995.

1995 Season Summary
Appeared in all 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Field goals – 31 [2, tied with Steve Christie & Jason Elam, 1st in NFC]
Most field goals, game – 5 vs. New England 10/1
Field goal attempts – 37 [5]
Most field goal attempts, game – 5 vs. New England 10/1
Field goal percentage – 83.8 [4]
PATs – 29 [18]
PAT attempts – 30 [18]
Longest field goal – 59 yards vs. San Francisco 12/24

Field Goals – 31
PATs – 29
Points – 122 [7, tied with Fuad Reveiz]

Postseason: 1 G (NFC Wild Card playoff at Green Bay)
Field goals – 2
Field goal attempts – 2
PATs – 2
PAT attempts – 2
Longest field goal – 31 yards

Awards & Honors:
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFWA, Sporting News
1st team All-NFC: UPI, Pro Football Weekly
Pro Bowl

Falcons went 9-7 to finish second in the NFC West and qualify for the postseason as a Wild Card entry. Lost AFC Wild Card playoff to Green Bay Packers (37-20).

Andersen went on to play five more seasons in Atlanta, which included a NFC Championship in 1998 after he kicked the winning field goal against the Vikings in overtime of the conference title game. He moved on to the Giants for a year, spent 2002 and ’03 with the Chiefs, was with Minnesota in 2004, and then, after sitting out a year, returned to Atlanta in 2006 and ’07, finishing out his 25-season career at age 47. His 89.3 field goal percentage in 2007 (25 of 28) was his career best. He ended up as the NFL career leader in scoring (2544 points) and field goals (565), as well as having appeared in the most games (382) and scored in the most consecutive contests (360). Andersen was three times a consensus first-team All-NFL selection, received at least second-team or All-NFC honors on three other occasions, and was chosen to the Pro Bowl seven times. In addition to the Saints, he is also the career scoring leader for the Falcons (806 points), making him the only player to hold that distinction with two different NFL teams.


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970