Kick issues continued to haunt the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday as Dan Bailey’s four missed kicks contributed to a 26-14 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving Minnesota a 22% chance of playing in the ESPN Football Power Index.
After the Vikings ’first quarter-final, Bailey extremely abandoned his extra-point attempt and pushed three consecutive field goals to the right from 36, 54 and 46 meters.
The kick of the Vikings joins some unfortunate company with a historically bad outing. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last player to have at least three missed field goals and none of the missed extra points was John Aveni in Washington in 1961.
Overall, the Vikings left 10 points on the board due to Bailey’s absence, which called into question the team’s kicking status despite coach Mike Zimmer not clearly making the mistake for the 32-year-old.
“I don’t know now,” Zimmer said. “It kicked well this week. So we just have to decide and go with it. I love the kid very much. Like I said before, he had a lot of confidence in him. It’s a very good year. It’s been a couple of bad weeks now. But you know, we can’t throw 10 points and stuff like that.It’s not just Dan Bailey.We gave up a 50-yard throw because a couple of guys weren’t in the right place.You can’t do that either.If you guys want me to fire the guys because I made a mistake here, I made a mistake there, then we wouldn’t have players. Let’s not put all this on Dan Bailey. “
After the game, quarterback Kirk Cousins also offered support to Bailey.
“We win as a team and we lose as a team,” Cousins said. “This league puts you to the test no matter what position you play and you know it’s one day. I always thought I was encouraging myself in matches where I threw four interceptions and I felt like I was getting into the team. you were in that moment and what you are doing you realize you are playing a long match.It was a day, not a season or a career.It was a day.And Dan did a lot of good things this season and did a lot of great kicks, and he’s done a lot of great kicks in his career. So you never want to make a bigger deal in a day than you need to. “
Following repeated mistakes in the last two games of Minnesota, Bailey entered Week 14 as the sixth more accurate kick in NFL history. In the overtime against Jacksonville last week, Bailey missed two extra points and a field attempt at the end of the regulation that would have won Minnesota. In overtime, after reaching the Jaguars ’32-yard line, the Vikings decided to run the ball straight eight times with Dalvin Cook to get as close to the end zone as possible, and Bailey eventually kicked a winning 23-yard field goal.
Last week, special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf suggested the kicker kick the ball higher than usual during a rough outing against the Jaguars. On Friday, Bailey was asked if he could determine exactly what was wrong with the kicking operation and said he was “embarrassed” by the recent omissions, but was unable to put a finger on any specific issue.
“It was obviously disappointing, and only overall,” Bailey said. “Because obviously, above all, it has a real impact on the game – clearly. But frustrating in the sense that he put this job in, I feel like I hit the ball well – not just to practice, but in the season – so go out there and perform – obviously. it was a little frustrating. I’m sure myself and everyone else. But you just have to put it behind you. You have to find a way to reset it as quickly as possible. That’s all you can do. You can’t miss it. “
Zimmer said he’s not worried about his professional trio as he recently replaced long-time robber Austin Cutting with veteran Andrew DePaola and publicly supported his kick amid recent absences.
“Yes, I’m fine with it,” Zimmer said Friday. “Dan had a great year, he had a good week in practice. I talked to him a little the other day. He’s very confident. He’ll be fine.”
Bailey missed three of the last four attempts and was 83-86 between 30-39 yards by Sunday. Zimmer continued to strongly support Bailey, but said he was “not really worried about feelings anymore at this point.”
“I don’t know. I’m very disappointed,” Zimmer said. “I really believe in it, I trust it a lot. But the last two weeks haven’t been good. I love the kid, he’s a great kid, he’s very even in nature. I don’t know.”
Most recently, the Vikings kick missed three field goals in a game in 2018, Week 2 at Green Bay, after then-rookie Daniel Carlson went 0-3. They were slaughtered the next day, and the Vikings quickly signed Bailey, the free agent who had played Dallas for the last time.
Minnesota have two defeats this season in games in which they held the ball for at least 39 minutes. No NFL team recorded a similar defeat.
As Arizona defeated the New York Giants, Minnesota (6-7) moves behind the Cardinals (7-6) in their chase for the final NFC playoff spot, with the remainder of three games.