Mistake No. 2
Sticking with Greg Joseph at kicker
One of the differences between Kevin O’Connell and Mike Zimmer has been the patience with kickers.
But if the Vikings don’t choose to make a change in the position, they could be setting themselves up for the type of failure that Minnesota fans know too well.
Zimmer’s temperament with kickers was legendary. He oversaw Blair Walsh's downfall after he missed a kick in the 2015 Wild Card loss to the Seattle Seahawks and later jettisoned Daniel Carlson after one tough game in Green Bay.
Even Dan Bailey, who was one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history before he arrived in Minnesota, couldn’t break the spell before Greg Joseph provided some stability the past two seasons.
Joseph’s tenure with the Vikings could be summed up as good but not great. Joseph has knocked down 82 percent of his field goals in two seasons with Minnesota but has only made 90 percent of his extra-point attempts.
While he was able to make up for it with several clutch kicks in 2022, his performance tailed off last year, making just 7-of-13 attempts from 40 yards or more.
The NFL playoffs have already shown us how important a kicker can be, and Vikings history is littered with players who had terrific seasons but couldn’t make the big kick.
Joseph has shown some ability to make a field goal when it matters, but he’s too inconsistent to be relied upon.
If Minnesota continues to stress continuity at the position, it could lead Joseph to re-sign with the team this spring.
That would be like playing Russian Roulette and could cost the Vikings when they need it the most.