5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Las Vegas Raiders – Preseason Week 1
By Chris Schad
Greg Joseph will make all of his kicks
Mike Zimmer’s relationship with kickers is well-documented. After the Vikings spent a fifth-round pick on Daniel Carlson, Zimmer went for two points when the rookie missed an extra point. Blair Walsh, Dan Bailey, and others crumbled under the weight of Zimmer’s expectations and it left a black hole that has existed since the franchise was founded in 1961.
While the ghost of Gary Anderson still hangs in the atmosphere at TCO Performance Center, Greg Joseph is coming off a solid season. His 86.8 percent field goal rate would rank second in Vikings history behind Kai Forbath over the past 20 years. Despite a crucial miss against the Arizona Cardinals, Joseph made several clutch kicks that kept Minnesota afloat.
This never seemed to impress Zimmer, but it has made an impression on new special teams coach Matt Daniels.
Daniels raved about Joseph’s composure and proclaimed he could be sitting on his best season ever. Joseph backed up that vote of confidence by going 7-for-8 including a 58-yarder during Monday night’s practice.
Even if O’Connell is trying to rattle his kicker during practice, it won’t be the same as kicking in games. Vikings fans will need to see Joseph to believe the hype and knocking down his kicks against the Raiders would be a great start.