Kicking curse returns during Vikings loss to Bucs in Week 14

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

A playoff spot is slipping away from the Minnesota Vikings after their loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

If someone were to tell the Minnesota Vikings that they were going to rush for 162 yards against the NFL’s top run defense, most would assume that would result in a victory for the purple and gold.

But this wasn’t the case for the Vikings on Sunday when a great performance by the rushing attack wasn’t enough to avoid a 26-14 defeat by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Despite losing by 12 points, Minnesota played well against a Bucs team that is currently fighting for one of the top wild-card spots in the NFC playoff race. The Vikings just made too many mistakes, especially on special teams, to come away with a big win over Tampa Bay on Sunday.

What’s next for the Minnesota Vikings and their playoff hopes?

A week after missing two extra-point tries and one field-goal attempt, Minnesota kicker Dan Bailey had himself an even worse performance against the Bucs.

Bailey started off his afternoon by missing an extra-point try after the Vikings’ first touchdown of the game. Then he proceeded to miss all three of his field-goal attempts during the matchup.

Before last week’s contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bailey had missed just one kick since Week 5. With his performance against Tampa Bay on Sunday, however, the Minnesota kicker has now missed a total of seven kicks in the team’s last two games.

This time, it played a big part in the Vikings losing to the Bucs. With the loss and the Arizona Cardinals getting a win over the New York Giants on Sunday, Minnesota has now fallen to the No. 8 spot in the NFC playoff standings with three games left to play.

The Vikings played well enough on offense and defense this week to get a victory over Tampa Bay. But, once again, it was the special teams that played a significant factor in Minnesota suffering a loss.

The Vikings will attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive next Sunday at 12pm CT when they take on the 6-7 Chicago Bears during the final game of the season inside U.S. Bank Stadium.