Does Matt Stover Deserve to Be Enshrined in Canton?

October 25, 2009 | Chad Lamasa

originally written on August 28, 2008

The list of placekickers enshrined in the Football Hall of Fame is short—very short. It contains one name: Jan Stenerud.

Stenerud played 19 seasons in the NFL for the Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings. His career stats look like this: 1,699 points on 580 PATs and 373 FGs. He racked up 100-plus points in seven different seasons.

The 1,699 points put him, at the time of his retirement, second on the all-time list behind George Blanda. He kicked 17 field goals of 50-plus yards in his career.

Stenerud’s longest field goal was 55 yards. Probably the most astounding mark on his record is that he never had a field goal or extra point attempt blocked.

This short list could, and should, add another name five years after Matt Stover decides to hang up his cleats.

Stover, the last of the original Cleveland Browns, is entering his 19th season.

Currently fourth on the all-time scoring list with 1,822 points, he trails only Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson, and George Blanda, and is five spots ahead of Stenerud.

He is fewer than 200 points behind Blanda, so it’s conceivable he can be in the top-three of all-time once his career is finished.

Stover has made 435 field goals and 517 points after touchdowns. He has not missed an extra-point attempt since the 1992 season, when the Ravens were still the Browns.

His 83.8 field-goal percentage and 99.4 extra-point percentage rank among the best of all-time. Stover has made 13 field goals of 50-plus yards.

He has also only had eight field goals blocked in his 19-year career, with no more than two in any season.

He is closing in on 1,000 kickoffs, totaling almost 57,000 yards, with only 117 touchbacks and three returned for touchdowns. Stenerud never performed a kickoff in his career.

Matt Stover holds the record for most points scored with one franchise. He has won a Super Bowl, been a Pro Bowler, and has been a Pro-Bowl Alternate.

Morten Anderson has not yet been enshrined, so Stover may be the third placekicker to be in the Hall of Fame.

I don’t want to see him go anywhere for a while, but when he does, I hope it’s to Canton.

Note: I wrote this article for Bleacher Report before the 2008 season. With Matt now in Indy, I thought it would be nice to revisit the idea. All the stats above were accurate at the time I wrote the article.

Last season Stover went 27/33 for 81.8%. His longest FG  was 47 yards. He was also perfect on PAT attempts.

At the end of last season Stover was fifth on the All-Time scoring list, only 11 points Saints kicker John Carney.

He also performed 42 kickoffs averaging 62.5 yds and five touchbacks.

Stover ranks among the best in several categories.