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Reflecting on Andersen's Greatness as a Falcon

This Throwback Thursday, we're taking at look some of the Falcons greats as we continue to celebrate 50 seasons, presented by Equifax.

On Jan. 17, 1999, 17 years ago today, Morten Andersen made the biggest field goal in Falcons history—a 38-yarder that sent Atlanta to its first Super Bowl appearance. Now a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, Andersen, 55, has a chance to be the fifth kicker to be immortalized in Canton, Ohio.

Given how many legends are vying for a spot in the 2016 PFHOF class, it will be difficult to get enshrined. But there are reasons to believe Andersen is worthy of such an honor.

The best argument in favor of his induction might be longevity. The Denmark native broke into the NFL in 1982 as a 22-year-old and didn't hang up the cleats for good until the 2007 campaign ended, when he was a spry 47.

In between, he was nominated for seven Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams. On Dec. 16, 2006, he became the NFL's all-time leading scorer; a week later, he reached first place all-time in field goals made.

Andersen was consistently good for a remarkable period of time, and five different organizations benefited from that talent. Moreover, given the numbers Andersen put up during his second stint with Atlanta, he could have likely kicked professionally well into his 50s.

Although he dealt with frustrating knee problems, some of his most accurate years came in his mid-40s: During Andersen's final season, he made 89.3 percent of his field goal attempts—the best rate of his illustrious career.

Indeed, Andersen was one of the best kickers to ever play the game. And while he may not hold the all-time points record forever, he'll always be remembered for his heroics in a Falcons uniform.

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