Buccaneers Star Mocks Vikings Kicker Dan Bailey

Shaquil Barrett and Dan Bailey

Getty Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Shaquil Barrett mocked kicker Vikings kicker Dan Bailey after Sunday's game.

Minnesota Vikings kicker Dan Bailey may have lost some Vikings fans after his unraveling against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he may have won over at least one member of the Buccaneers.

After a 26-14 Tampa Bay victory over the Vikings where Bailey missed three field goals and an extra point, Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett said “tell the field goal kicker we appreciate him,” with a laugh, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported.

Barrett, a 2019 Pro Bowl selection, had 19.5 sacks a season ago and was a piece of the Tampa Bay pass rush that pressured Kirk Cousins a season-high 22 times on Sunday. Cousins was sacked six times in the loss as the pressure the Buccaneers presented left the Vikings reliant on the leg of Bailey.

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Vikings Pass Protection Crumbles, Pressures Dan Bailey

While Bailey’s job is simply to kick the ball between the uprights, it’s important to acknowledge the plays that landed Bailey in field-goal situations when the Vikings offense had been considered one of the best on third downs in the league.

Three of the six sacks on Cousins preceded Bailey’s field goal attempt as the Vikings, struggling to handle the pressure Tampa Bay threw at the offensive line, killed their chances of an attempt for going for it fourth-and-short throughout the game.

Even more demoralizing is the fact that Tampa Bay actually played rather conservatively, blitzing 34% of the time compared to an average of 40% throughout the season. The Buccaneers sacked Cousins five times sending just four pass rushers, leaving more players in coverage to limit lanes for Cousins to find his receivers.


Cousins Takes Blame for Sacks

Cousins did take some of the blame for the sacks as he held the ball on average for 2.86 seconds and owned the sixth-longest time before throwing in the league, the Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling reported.

“I don’t know if it was our first or second — maybe it was our first drive — I break the huddle on third down and I see, ‘Hey if I take a sack here, we’re going to be out of field goal range – can’t take a sack.’ Then I took a sack,” he said. “You think about your role in being able to give your team points and you go back now, I’m going to go back now and see, ‘How can I ditch the ball or escape and just avoid the lost yardage that then made the field goal so much more difficult or forced us to punt?’ I think that was something that I could’ve done better today.”

Sunday’s loss reignites a perennial problem for the Vikings as the offensive line continues to struggle in pass protection. Once they get down, Cousins admitted he could have avoided the sack a few times, but with Bailey struggling, the Vikings quarterback likely felt he needed to play hero ball while Minnesota trailed.

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