The Vikings Curse


Daniel Carlson misses field goal against the Green Bay Packers

The date was January 17, 1999. The Minnesota Vikings (15-1) were ahead of the Atlanta Falcons 27-20 in the NFC Championship game with just over two minutes remaining. A field goal was going to put the game out of reach and send the Vikings to the Super Bowl. Gary Anderson, the kicker for the Vikings, was a PERFECT 35/35 on field goals, and 59/59 on extra points throughout the season- all in all, Anderson had made 122 consecutive field goals. With those numbers, the 39-yard field goal, considered a chip shot by some, seemed to be a guaranteed make. What prevented it? THE VIKINGS KICKER CURSE. Anderson missed the field goal wide left, which resulted in the falcons marching down the field, tying the game, and then winning the game in overtime 30-27.

Wide left… why does that sound familiar? Many viking fans remember this moment in history more than any other. The Vikings were down 10-9 in the 2016 wild card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. 26 seconds remained on the clock, and the Vikings had the ball on their own 10 yard line. This set up a chip shot field goal of 27 yards for Blair Walsh. Walsh was 30/31 on kicks from inside 30 yards on his career up to that point; that gave him a 97% chance to make it. What prevented him from sending the Vikings to the second round of the playoffs? THE VIKINGS KICKER CURSE. Walsh missed the chip shot field goal wide left and shocked the entire world. The miss has been drilled into every Viking fans’ memory forever.

The Vikings finally decided to put an end to this curse this offseason. The vikings used their 5th round draft pick to take Daniel Carlson, a 3X 1st-Team All-SEC player out of Auburn, to be their kicker of the future. Fast forward to week 2 of the regular season against the Green Bay Packers, the game was in overtime and the vikings put the ball in a great spot for their new, accomplished kicker. The kick was a mere 35 yards; a kick he had made 32/34 in his kicking career. What prevented him from the routine kick that would give the Vikings a much needed division win over their rival Packers? THE VIKINGS KICKER CURSE. Carlson missed the field goal wide right and two other kicks throughout the game that led to the Vikings ending the game in a tie.

The Vikings knew what needed to be done… They wasted no time by releasing Daniel Carlson and signing the second most accurate kicker in NFL history, Dan Bailey. To put Dan Bailey’s talent into a comparison, the great Adam Vinatieri, who currently plays for the Indianapolis Colts, has had 4 seasons out of 22 that he has missed 2 or less field goals. In just 7 seasons, Dan Bailey already has had 3 such seasons of 2 misses or less TOTAL. Finally, the Vikings solved their curse problem, right? Well not so fast. After having the stellar seasons he’s had, this past Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles Bailey missed 2 field goals. He had missed two field goals total ALL SEASON in 3/7 seasons. Now, with the Minnesota Vikings, he misses two in ONE game? Viking fans are no longer surprised by kicking woes and have learned to accept them. If the second most accurate kicker in NFL history isn’t the solution, then who is? stay tuned…