Dan Bailey – K
I hate to keep bringing kickers into this, but how Dan Bailey performs on Thursday is paramount to the Vikings’ kicking game in 2019.
After Kaare Vedvik was given a shot last week against the Cardinals and failed, the ball falls back in Bailey’s court. He needs to seize his opportunity on Thursday and nail every field goal and extra point attempt he’s given against the Bills.
If Bailey makes all of his kicks, especially if one of them is from at least 40 yards away, he will more than likely end up as Minnesota’s kicker to open the regular season.
If this happens, then Vedvik would likely begin the year as the Vikings’ punter and kickoff specialist as the team won’t be letting him go after trading away a fifth-round pick to acquire him.
If Bailey misses a field goal, and especially an extra point, in Buffalo, things will get very murky. Supposedly, Vedvik will still be getting opportunities to kick field goals against the Bills as well on Thursday. If he hits his kicks, then the pendulum would swing back in his favor and Minnesota could have him begin the season as the placekicker and keep Matt Wile as the punter.
If he fails too, then the Vikings could be bringing in a brand new kicker off the streets to play in Week 1 and no Minnesota fan wants to see that happen.
All the Vikings and their fans want is a kicker they can rely on to do their job. Bailey has a chance to secure that spot on Thursday and hopefully, he does just that.