As simple as it may look, the Vikings still struggle to find an accurate kicker when it matters most.
This past Sunday, the Vikings made headlines again in the NFL, and not in a positive way for the franchise. The team cut rookie 5th round kicker, Daniel Carlson, on Monday after going 0/3 on field goal attempts against the Packers last Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI.
Once the team cut the rookie kicker, the team went out on the open market and nabbed the 2nd most accurate kicker in NFL history, former Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey.
While this is all well and good that the team has found a reliable kicker to kick for the team this season, the Vikings have seen too much kicker turnover in recent memory to sit comfortably in their chair this Sunday without a hitch.
Here are just a few moments Vikings kickers have missed field goals in recent memory:
Daniel Carlson 0/3 on field goals in Lambeau
While mentioned already in this article, it’s good to start fresh in the minds of Vikings fans. Special Teams coach, Mike Priefer, is quoted saying that the best kickers in this league don’t miss twice on field goal attempts.
Carlson had his back against the wall in his final field goal attempt this past Sunday, with a made kick by him giving the Vikings the win if he kicked it right.
Unfortunately, he caught a case of the “yips” and missed the field goal with seconds left in the game. The next day, he’d be cut and replaced by Dan Bailey.
Blair Walsh vs. the Seahawks, NFC Wild Card round
The Vikings were marching down the field late in this game. The crowd’s eyes at TCF Bank Stadium were completely frozen to the field that day, watching Teddy Bridgewater drive the offense down the field in subzero weather to put the Vikings in field goal range to move on in the playoffs.
Every Vikings fan knows what happened next. After watching Walsh go 3/3 on field goals that day, everybody in the stadium that day was confident that he’d make the most important field goal.
Unfortunately, he missed the field goal and the Vikings went home that day wondering what could’ve been.
Gary Anderson miss vs. the Falcons in 1998
After a 15-1 regular season, Minnesota led Atlanta 27-20 on Jan. 17, 1999, at the Metrodome when Anderson lined up for a 39-yard field-goal attempt with 2:11 remaining.
During the regular season, Anderson had made all 35 of field-goal attempts and all 59 of his extra points. Overall, he had made 122 consecutive kicks.
It was a chip shot, and if Anderson made it, the Vikings were all but certain to be headed for Super Bowl XXXIII, their first since 1977.
But Anderson didn’t make it at all; the ball drifted a few feet left and Minnesota ultimately lost 30-27 in overtime.
Anderson played four more seasons with Minnesota. After two years with Tennessee, he retired after the 2004 season as the leading in scorer in NFL history with 2,434 points.
He eventually was surpassed by Morten Andersen, who remains the top scorer with 2,544 points and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
If the Vikings want to rewrite history in a good way this season, the time is NOW for them to figure out what might be the most underrated, yet most high-pressured job in the NFL.
Dan Bailey, welcome to the Vikings, but remember that Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer brought you on this team, and they’re not afraid to kick you off it!
Feature Photo: Daniel Carlson (pictured, head down) has been just the recent Vikings kicker to miss field goals in clutch moments for the purple and gold in recent memory. (Courtesy of the Associated Press)