Daniel Carlson’s return to Minnesota
Another weird parallel between this season and last season is the return of Daniel Carlson. Carlson was the kicker that general manager Rick Spielman burned a fifth-round pick on in the 2018 NFL Draft and the Auburn product started out well by beating Kai Forbath for the kicking job out of training camp.
Once the games started counting, however, Carlson fell into a funk and missed three field goals against the Packers, which triggered Mike Zimmer into kicking him off the team. A couple of weeks later, a suggestion from his high school coach helped him fix his stride and he has only missed one kick (18-of-19 FG, 22-for-22 XP) since joining the Raiders.
While there isn’t really much analysis to break down a kicker against their former team, the special teams struggles of the Vikings may put more of an emphasis on here than usual. Dan Bailey missed a 53-yarder in the loss to the Packers and another bad performance could have him in Zimmer’s doghouse once again.
Mix in the potential of Carlson having an opportunity to bury the Vikings with a game-winning field goal and it could add another chapter in Minnesota’s strange history with kickers.