What is wrong with the Minnesota Vikings special teams?
By Adam Patrick
What is going wrong?
Currently, the Vikings have the 30th ranked special teams unit in the NFL according to Football Outsiders. This is pretty significant since Football Outsiders also has Minnesota ranked as the 10th-best offense and the 10th-best defense in the league heading into Week 11.
Just about every aspect of the Vikings special teams has performed poorly this year. Minnesota currently ranks last in the NFL in yards per punt return (1.7), 17th in yards per kick return (20.9), 31st in average kickoff yards (58.1), 31st in yards per punt (41.2), and the two blocked punts they have allowed are tied for the most in the league.
The one bright spot might be the play of Vikings kicker Dan Bailey. This season, Bailey has made eight of his 10 field-goal attempts and 20 of his 21 extra-point tries. Still, his 10 field goal attempts are tied for the fewest of any kicker in the NFL so far this year.
Things really unraveled on Monday during Minnesota’s win over the Chicago Bears. Not only did the Vikings make the incredibly terrible decision to kick to Cordarrelle Patterson and give up a 104-yard return touchdown to the former Minnesota first-round draft pick, but they also gave up a 32-yard punt return to Bears receiver Anthony Miller.
That was just the Vikings’ performance on punt and kick coverage. Minnesota also failed to convert an extra point in the fourth quarter after long snapper Austin Cutting sent the football into the dirt.