After missing an extra point, Joseph recovered and converted a 52-yard field goal attempt in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals. However, he couldn’t shake the nerves completely.
Joseph pushed a 37-yard field goal attempt wide right on the game’s final play that left the Vikings awestruck as a win slipped from their grasp for a second straight week in a 34-33 loss on Sunday.
Tommy Kramer, quarterback of the Vikings from 1977-89 and the franchise’s second all-time leading passer, offered his two cents of how he’d handle the kicking woes that have surfaced yet again.
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‘You Need to Get in Your Teammates Faces’
Kramer took to Twitter after the loss, like many Vikings fans, to air out his frustrations.
He shared an anecdote of when his kicker, Rick Danmeier, missed an extra point after already missing a pair of field goals.
“I let him have it on the sideline, it brought him to tears,” Kramer said, via Twitter. “I’m not saying I’m right, but sometimes you need to get in your teammates’ faces.”
The game Kramer is referring to was the Miracle at the Met against the Cleveland Browns in 1980. Danmeier went on to convert a 24-yard field goal but missed his final two extra points. Kramer took matters into his own hands by throwing a trio of touchdown passes in the final quarter to lead the Vikings to victory.
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Zimmer Has Softened on Kickers Over the Years
Mike Zimmer has been one of the league’s unluckiest coaches for kickers — going through five kickers in eight years as a head coach.
Blair Walsh started what has become a kicker carousel in Minnesota after the former sixth-round pick shanked a field-goal attempt wide left in the 2015 NFC Wild Card round against the Seattle Seahawks. Walsh struggled the next season, leading to his eventual release.
The Vikings eventually took another stab at drafting their kicker of the future in Daniel Carlson in 2018. Carlson missed a pair of kicks in a preseason game, which led to Zimmer calling out the rookie kicker in the postgame press conference. Carlson was shaken and struggled against the Green Bay Packers, missing two field goals in overtime in a 29-29 tie. It was his last game as a Viking.
Zimmer took a softer stance when Dan Bailey caught a case of the yips last season. Bailey missed seven kicks across two games, including four kicks in a 9-point loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zimmer consulted the entire locker room on how to address the issue. They kept Bailey for the remainder of the season but released him in March as a salary-cap casualty.
Despite starting 0-2 this season, Zimmer was reserved in the Cardinals postgame press conference, asking Joseph to be more consistent after missing a pair of kicks in Arizona.