Andersen, Davis make Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former Falcons kicker Morten Andersen is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Former Falcons kicker Morten Andersen is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Former Falcons kicker Morten Andersen, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, and former Georgia running back Terrell Davis were selected to enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the hall announced on Saturday.

Andersen was a finalist for the fourth time (2014-17) and Davis for the third time (2015-17).

Defensive end Jason Taylor, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, safety Kenny Easley and quarterback Kurt Warner were also selected for induction. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was selected as a contributor to the game.

The group will be enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 5.

Anderson played for the New Orleans Saints (1982-1994), Atlanta Falcons (1995-2000, 2006-07), New York Giants (2001), Kansas City Chiefs (2002-03) and Minnesota (2004).

Davis starred for the Denver Broncos from 1995-2001.

The new enshrines were determined by a vote of the hall’s 48-member selection committee

Andersen will be remembered for kicking the field goal that sent the Falcons to their first Super Bowl. On Jan. 17, 1999, Andersen made a 38-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 30-27 overtime victory over Minnesota in the NFC Championship game.

The Falcons will be making their second appearance the league grandest game on Sunday.

Andersen, who logged 2,544 career points, holds the league record for field goals made (565) and most games played (382).

Only three kickers in league history have been inducted into the hall: George Blanda, Lou Groza, and Jan Stenerud. Stenerud, the last kicker selected, was sent to Canton was in 1991.

Andersen, a six-time Pro Bowler while playing with the Saints, made the second longest field goal in NFL history (60 yards) in 1991.

Andersen made the NFL’s 1980 and 1990 All-Decade teams. He converted 565 of 709 field goals (79.7 percent), both totals records for kicks made and attempted. He is the career scoring leader for the both the Saints and Falcons.

Andersen was credited with turning the field goal into a major offensive weapon. His range allowed his coaches to basically extend their scoring range. Former NFL coach Bill Parcells considered the 40-yard line the red zone when playing against Andersen’s teams.

A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Andersen was also credited with helping to grow the game in his country. After graduating from high school in Denmark as a soccer, track and gymnastics star, he came to the U.S. on an exchange program, where he played extra year of high school in Indianapolis.

Ben Davis High School didn’t have a soccer team, so he went out for football and quickly became the team’s kicker. Colleges began approaching him and he signed with Michigan State. In 44 games, he scored 261 points at MSU and set a Big Ten record with a 63-yard field goal against Ohio State. He was named All-American his senior season after making 15 of 20 field-goal attempts.

The Saints selected him in the fourth round in the 1982 draft.

After an injury-marked career at Georgia, Davis was selected by the Broncos in the sixth-round (196th) of the 1995 draft and made an immediate splash when he earned starting tailback position as rookie.

Davis helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls and is considered one of the top running backs in playoff history. In 1998, he became the fourth running back in league history to rush for more than 2,000 yards.

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Former Falcons kicker Morten Andersen discusses his selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter


Notable First-Time Eligibles

Class of 2018

Rhonde Barber

Ray Lewis

Jeff Saturday

Donald Driver

Matt Birk

Steve Hutchinson

Brian Urlacher

Randy Moss

Class of 2019

Dallas Clark

Tony Gonzalez

Ed Reed

Champ Bailey

Class of 2020

Troy Polamalu

Reggie Wayne

Patrick Willis

Class of 2021

Peyton Manning

Charles Woodson

Calvin Johnson

Jerod Mayo

Justin Tuck

Jared Allen

Heath Miller

Marshawn Lynch

Logan Mankins

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