3. Daniel Carlson and Dan Bailey – Ks
Maybe two for one is cheating, but I’m doing it anyway. The Vikings’ kicking game has long been a weakness and that was one of the reasons Minnesota took Daniel Carlson from Auburn with a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
He was seen as a long-term fix for the Vikings. Carlson had a shaky preseason, but he hung onto the job with a solid performance in Minnesota’s 2018 preseason finale.
Then came Week 2 of the regular season and he missed a total of three field goals, two of which would’ve won the game in overtime. He was soon cut and the fans got what they wanted when the team brought in former Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey.
The problem was Bailey wasn’t any better and there was clearly a reason why the Cowboys cut him for a rookie. He finished the season hitting 21-of-28 field goals, which is just a subpar 75 percent.
It’s hard to know exactly why kickers struggle in the color purple. But longtime Minnesota special teams coach Mike Priefer joined the Cleveland Browns this offseason and the Vikings are reportedly bringing in former Miami Dolphins assistant Marwan Maalouf to be the new leader of their special teams.
If Minnesota’s kicker performs much better in 2019, it’s at least a little proof that Priefer was part of the problem and that these kickers don’t deserve 100 percent of the blame.