After coming one win short of the Super Bowl in 2017, the Minnesota Vikings made a very big move. But the team failed miserably and now looks to rebound.
Off a 13-3 showing and within one victory of going to the Super Bowl for the first time in more than four decades, the Minnesota Vikings were a popular choice to wind up in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Some of that was based on the fact that the team made quite the commitment to former Washington Redskins’ quarterback Kirk Cousins.
But there were other factors that contributed to Mike Zimmer’s team plummeting to 8-7-1 and out of the playoffs in 2018. The club dropped five of its final nine games following a midseason three-game winning streak. Now the Vikings look to shore up some areas of their roster and hope to dethrone the Chicago Bears as NFC North champions in 2019.
5. Find a reliable kicker
It dates back to the ill-fated 10-9 NFC Wild Card Playoffs loss to the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. Back then, the Minnesota Vikings look like they had a keeper in Blair Walsh. A sixth-round pick in 2012, the former Georgia Bulldog was a Pro Bowler in his rookie year. Three years later, he had already connected on a three field goals against Pete Carroll’s team and lined up for the potential game-winner from 27 yards out with 26 seconds to go. But the specialist pulled the kick left and Mike Zimmer’s team came up short.
Walsh would only be around for nine games the following year and was replaced by Kai Forbath. The latter would have the job until the summer of 2018, when he gave way to rookie Daniel Carlson. But the fifth-round pick from Auburn was released after two weeks, after missing three field goals at Lambeau Field in a 29-29 tie to the Packers in Week 2. Enter former Cowboys’ kicker Dan Bailey, who was an underwhelming 21-of-28 on field goals, five of those misses from 40-49 yards.
For what it’s worth, former Atlanta Falcons’ kicker Matt Bryant can be signed immediately.