I am calm.
Daniel Carlson, the Vikings’ rookie kicker, missed all three of his field goal attempts in this game. Two of those misses came in overtime. The final play of the game was a missed 35-yarder, two yards longer than an extra point. So we can add 35 to 38 and 27 as field goal lengths that are forever cursed for the Vikings.
It was a disaster. In what was already an uneven game for the Vikings, Kirk Cousins was magnificent and did enough to give his team the win. But, as is always the story with the Vikings, kicking got in the way.
After the game, there were already calls for Carlson’s head. I’ve seen lists of free-agent kickers, many of which have former Cowboy Dan Bailey at the top. Before he got cut before this season, he’d been one of the league’s most consistent kickers.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, remember this: Carlson is a rookie. The Vikings actually traded up to get him in this year’s draft, taking him in the 5th round. That made him the highest picked kicker in the draft. He then beat out Kai Forbath for the starting job, but also struggled through the end of the preseason.
Blair Walsh even got another chance after The Thing We Don’t Talk About happened.
Kickers have derailed the Vikings too many times in the past. This is a team that we all expect to contend for a Super Bowl, but that won’t happen without a serviceable kicker.
So, without further ado...are you done with Carlson? Should the Vikings call Bailey or Forbath and move on? Or does he deserve another chance?