Is Mike Zimmer to blame for the Vikings’ kicking game circus?

(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Mike Zimmer /
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(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Kai Forbath
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Kai Forbath /

No Love for Forbath

When Blair Walsh was unable to get out from the shadow of his miss in the 2015 playoffs, the Vikings decided to release him midway through the 2016 season. As his replacement, Minnesota brought in former Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints kicker, Kai Forbath.

During the final seven games of the season, Forbath made all 15 of his field goal attempts. He did miss three extra point tries as well, but none of them made an impact on the outcome of any matchups for the Vikings.

Despite Forbath converting on all of his field goal attempts in 2016, Minnesota still brought in another kicker during training camp in Marshall Koehn to compete for the job. In the end, Forbath was able to hold on to his spot on the Vikings’ roster, but this wouldn’t be the last time he would have to compete for his livelihood in Minnesota.

During the 2017 regular season, Forbath made 32 of his 38 field goal tries and 34 of his 39 extra point tries. His performance was average, but it didn’t seem like anything to freak out about, especially when he nailed a 53-yard field goal late in the Vikings’ miracle win over the Saints in the 2017 playoffs.

Forbath’s missed extra points in 2017 may be a concern to some. But if a team can’t overcome missing out on a single point, then their problems are probably much bigger.

The simple decision in 2018 would have been to been for Minnesota to bring back Forbath as their kicker. But simple and the Vikings are two things that go together like orange juice and mayonnaise.

Instead of just keeping Forbath as their primary kicker for the 2018 season, Minnesota decided to use an actual draft pick on Auburn’s Daniel Carlson to come in and compete for the team’s kicking job. Since the Vikings used a fifth-round pick on Carlson, the writing was already on the wall regarding Forbath’s future with the team.

Minnesota unsurprisingly went with Carlson as their kicker for 2018 and Forbath was sent packing for pretty much doing his job.

Zimmer’s Fault?: More blame can be placed on general manager Rick Spielman for this decision.