Is Matt Stover in the football Hall of Fame?

Matt Stover played 19 seasons as a placekicker in the NFL from 1991-2009. He spent the majority of his career with the Baltimore Ravens, playing 13 seasons with the team from 1996-2008. Stover was known for his accuracy and longevity, leading the league in field goal percentage three times and playing until the age of 42.

Over his career, Stover made 471 of 552 field goal attempts for an accuracy rate of 85.3%, which ranks him 4th all-time in NFL history. He scored 2,004 total points in his career, ranking him 6th on the all-time scoring list at the time of his retirement. Stover was selected to two Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl championship with the Ravens in 2000.

Stover’s Accomplishments

Matt Stover had a highly accomplished 19-year NFL career as a kicker. He was a member of two Super Bowl championship teams with the Baltimore Ravens, winning Super Bowl XXXV in 2001 and Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 (source). Stover was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2000, recognizing him as one of the top kickers in the NFL that season.

In addition, Stover finished his career ranked 4th on the NFL’s all-time scoring list with 2,004 points. His consistency and longevity allowed him to surpass the 2,000 point threshold, putting him behind only Morten Andersen, Gary Anderson, and Adam Vinatieri on the career scoring list (source). Stover’s accomplishments solidified his status as one of the premier kickers of his era.

Stover’s Impact

Matt Stover had a major impact during his 19-year NFL career, especially with the Baltimore Ravens. He helped the Ravens win their first Super Bowl championship in 2000, kicking a key field goal in the AFC Championship game against the Oakland Raiders ( Stover was known for making clutch kicks under pressure, including a game-winning kick in 2011 as a member of the Indianapolis Colts against the New England Patriots (

During his 13 seasons with the Ravens, Stover set numerous franchise records that stand to this day. He is the Ravens all-time leading scorer with 1,464 points and holds records for the most field goals made (354) and consecutive games scoring (186) ( His consistency and reliability in the kicking game were invaluable to the Ravens over the years.

Hall of Fame Eligibility

To be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a player or coach must have been retired for at least five NFL seasons before they can be considered for enshrinement. This mandatory retirement period allows for a candidate’s career achievements to be fully analyzed and debated. There are no other firm requirements for Hall of Fame qualification. However, most inductees have had long, accomplished careers that are comparable to or exceeding the standards set by previous inductees at their position or role.

According to the Hall of Fame’s selection process, the only firm eligibility requirement is being retired for 5 seasons. Voters use their judgment to consider a candidate’s “record, ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to his team(s) and to the game of football.”

A candidate’s statistical records and honors are closely examined to see if they are equal or better than current Hall of Fame members at the same position or role. This helps determine if the candidate’s career achievements are truly worthy of pro football’s highest individual honor.

Hall of Fame Selection Process

The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection process is handled by a Selection Committee consisting of 48 sports writers, one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America, and 6 members of the Hall of Fame itself. The Committee meets every year in February to elect the new class of inductees.

To be considered for induction, a retired player must be out of the NFL for at least 5 years. The Committee then creates a list of 15 modern-era player finalists each year. In addition, the Committee also considers 2 Senior finalists and 1 Contributor finalist for induction.

The maximum number of new inductees each year is 8 – 5 modern-era players, 2 Senior players, and 1 Contributor. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, a finalist must receive at least 80% voting support by the Committee members.

The selection process consists of several rounds of voting and discussion before the final inductees are chosen. According to the Hall of Fame’s selection guidelines, “the Committee exhaustively discusses each finalist’s career, impact on the game, off-field contributions, integrity, sportsmanship and character.”

Stover’s Hall of Fame Candidacy

Matt Stover has never been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite his long and accomplished NFL career as a kicker. Stover played for 19 seasons from 1991 to 2009 for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts. He was a 2-time Pro Bowler and 1-time First-Team All-Pro selection. Stover ranks 11th all-time in points scored with 1,944 and has a career field goal percentage of 83.7%
( However, Stover has struggled to gain traction as a potential Hall of Fame inductee.

As of 2023, there are only 5 total kickers in the Hall of Fame – Jan Stenerud, Morten Andersen, Ray Guy, George Blanda and Lou Groza ( Stover’s career stacks up comparably to some of these inducted kickers in certain statistics, but he lacks major honors and championships that boost a kicker’s Hall of Fame resume. With kickers historically underrepresented in Canton, Stover faces a difficult path to enshrinement despite a long and successful NFL kicking career.

Arguments For Induction

Stover has a strong case for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame based on his longevity and reliable kicking in clutch situations over the course of his 19-season NFL career. He played in Super Bowl XXXV and XLVII, winning championships with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and 2012. Stover was known for his leg strength and accuracy, ranking 11th in NFL history with 2,004 points scored (Source). He led the league in field goals made in 2000 and was selected to two Pro Bowls over his career. Stover made several crucial kicks in the playoffs to help the Ravens advance, including a 47-yard field goal in 2000 AFC Championship game that sent them to the Super Bowl. His reliability in key moments and high point production over 19 consistent seasons make him deserving of Hall of Fame induction.

Arguments Against Induction

While Stover was a very good kicker for many years and ranks high on several career kicking lists, some argue that he lacks the elite credentials to be a Hall of Famer.

Stover was never selected as a First Team All-Pro, limiting him to Second Team honors twice in his career. He was only named to two Pro Bowls, which some say demonstrates he was never viewed as truly the best kicker in the league during his era.

Though he ranks high in field goal percentage and is 7th all-time in points scored, Stover did not lead the league in critical statistical categories like field goal percentage as often as other Hall of Fame kickers like Morten Andersen and Jan Stenerud. He never set significant NFL records that reflect true greatness at the position.

While longevity and reliability were Stover’s calling cards, some argue that Hall of Famers should have higher peaks of production and dominance compared to their peers. Stover was very good for a long time, but perhaps not extraordinary enough to warrant induction.

Overall, the lack of First Team All-Pro honors and few statistical distinctions form the crux of the argument that Stover does not have the resume of a Hall of Fame or legendary kicker.

Expert Opinions

There is debate among football experts and analysts about whether Stover deserves induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. According to one analyst, “Stover is a borderline case who will have to wait for a very weak Hall class.” (Source)

However, other experts argue he has a strong case. As columnist Rick Gosselin wrote, “Stover led all NFL kickers with 135 points in 2000 and set an NFL record with field goals in 38 consecutive games from 1999-2001. His streak of perfection alone should get him a foot in the Canton door.” (Source)

Overall, Stover’s Hall of Fame chances remain uncertain and debated among football experts and writers. Some see him as deserving induction, while others view him as simply a very good, borderline candidate.


Matt Stover has an impressive football career. He holds records for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history and the Cleveland Browns franchise scoring record. Stover was named to two Pro Bowls and selected as a 2nd team All-Pro kicker. While he has some excellent accomplishments, Stover faces a high bar for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a kicker. The Hall of Fame Selection Committee is notoriously difficult on specialists like kickers and punters.

Stover will likely need to wait several more years before gaining serious consideration. He trails other kickers like Jason Hanson, Gary Anderson, and Adam Vinatieri in career stats and honors. Stover’s odds of induction improve if those other kickers pave the way. I predict Stover will eventually get into the Hall of Fame, but not for another 5-10 years at least.

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