When it comes to kicking field goals, the Minnesota Vikings really can’t ask a whole lot more from kicker Kai Forbath. Forbath has been the Vikings’ kicker for nine games in the wake of the Blair Walsh collapse, and thus far has been perfect on field goals for the purple. Nineteen times the Vikings have called on Cobra Kai to sweep the leg, and nineteen times he’s shown no mercy and proven that he’s the best around.
(I think I’ve exhausted my Karate Kid references. Let’s move on.)
Forbath has hit short field goals. He’s hit long field goals. He’s hit from the left hash. He’s hit from the right hash. He’s hit from the center of the field. When it comes to field goals, there’s really nothing that he can’t do.
For some reason, however, extra points are a different animal.
In the nine games that Forbath has served as the Vikings’ placekicker, he has had opportunities to attempt extra points in seven of them (he did not attempt an extra point in last season’s losses to the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys). In those seven games, he has missed extra point attempts in five of them, including both of Minnesota’s games this year. The only games where he attempted at least one extra point without a miss were last year’s Thanksgiving game at Detroit (where he went 1-for-1) and last year’s season finale against Chicago (where he went 5-for-5). In every other game that Forbath has kicked for the Vikings, he has missed an extra point.
Never having been a professional kicker before, I have no idea what goes through the mind of a kicker that is attempting to hit any sort of kick. Having said that, I’m not sure what the bugaboo on the extra point is for Forbath at this point. On the extra point, the kicker can have the ball spotted wherever they want, whether it’s on one of the hashmarks or right in the center of the field. It’s always the same distance (barring the occasional penalty), and generally it doesn’t appear that opposing teams put a lot of effort into defending it. But Forbath keeps missing them, and save for the meaningless game against Chicago last year, he’s basically a 50/50 proposition to hit an extra point. That’s bad.
Apparently, he knows what he’s done wrong.
“I know what I did, so it’s easily correctable,” Forbath said.
What did he do?
“Just pulled my head too quick,” he said. “Just got to stay down on it. It’s nothing that I’m concerned about.”
Well, you know, if it’s not that big a concern, then hopefully he’ll get the problem fixed. The Vikings certainly need all the points they can get, particularly if Sam Bradford is going to be out for any sort of extended period of time, and they can’t afford to be leaving points on the field.
If Forbath can’t fix his extra point issue, my guess is that the Vikings will start looking for someone else that can do his job instead.