Former Minnesota Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson has not missed a field goal attempt or an extra point try in his last 11 games with the Oakland Raiders.
After the Vikings selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Carlson was immediately burdened with being the guy to erase Mike Zimmer’s re-occurring memories of Blair Walsh. Anything outside of perfect wasn’t going to be acceptable to Zimmer and the young Minnesota kicker was pretty much doomed after he got the call from the team on draft day.
Thanks to Zimmer’s tolerance with kickers being worse than his ability to hide his chewing tobacco in a bag of sunflower seeds, Carlson lasted a whole two games with the Vikings before he was canned in 2018.
Shortly after his departure from the Twin Cities, he was given another chance by the Oakland Raiders. Ever since he put on the silver and black, the 24-year-old kicker has proven why he was worth a draft pick last year.
In his last 11 games with the Raiders (regular season and preseason), Carlson has made all 19 of his field goal tries and all 21 of his extra point attempts. For those wondering, this is also known as perfection.
Carlson’s success in Oakland proves that Minnesota’s decision to release him after just two games was the wrong choice.
Yes, he missed all three of his field goal attempts in the Vikings’ Week 2 matchup with the Green Bay Packers. But Minnesota also made an investment in the kid with a draft pick and he deserved at least another game to redeem himself.
Instead, Zimmer let his feelings get in the way and it led to a decision that the Vikings likely wish they never made.
There’s no guarantee that Carlson would have been able to recover from his performance against the Packers, especially with his head coach throwing him under the bus to push his confidence level underground. But what he has done in a Raiders uniform shows that Minnesota probably should have at least given him another chance.