Missed Opportunities Lead to Thrilling Defeat for Vikings in Arizona


Minnesota Vikings v Arizona Cardinals

Photo: Getty Images North America

The Minnesota Vikings fell to then Arizona Cardinals 34-33 on the road this Sunday.

On paper, that looks like nothing less than a moral victory for a team that failed to show up and play against the Cincinnati Bengals last week, but in reality it's much worse than that.

Yes, the Vikings should feel decent about some of then things they did against a good Arizona team and we shouldn't completely look past these things.

Sure, they went toe-to-toe with a team that many believe to be a top-contender this season. Sure they were able to put 33 points on the board on the road against a team that thoroughly embarrassed the Tennessee Titans one week ago. Sure Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns and finished with a higher passer rating than Kyler Murray. Sure Danielle Hunter got cooking and finished the day with three sacks. Sure the team didn't register their first penalty on then day until well into the third quarter. Sure the offensive line came to play, both opening holes for Dalvin Cook to run through and protecting Cousins with enough time to do some damage. Sure Kirk led another two-minute drill to get his team in a position to win. Sure, they looked like a playoff football team after looking like a top drafting team the week before.

But they still found a way to lose, and they did so in dramatic fashion again. And that might be the worst part of it all.

This season already has a weird smell to it, and dropping your first two games of the season only wafts that stench closer to the fan base throughout.

A Kicker, another Kicker has gotten the best of Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings.

I personally don't believe in curses, but the Minnesota Vikings and their issues with field goal kickers might make me reconsider. Just under Mike Zimmer alone the team has had a revolving door at the kicker position. In fact, only two times under Mike Zimmer have the Vikings boasted a "better than league average" field goal conversion rate on the season. Once came in Dan Bailey's first full season with the team. The other came from Blair Walsh in 2015, but that season ended on a Walsh missed field goal in the playoffs against the Seahawks.

To be fair to Greg Joseph, there were other opportunities that led to the Vikings losing on Sunday. Their defense yielded 500 nearly 500 yards, the play-calling was questionable a few times throughout and the Cardinals are in fact a good football team. But all of those things, the percentage of 0-2 teams that miss the playoffs, the sting from the loss to Cincy, all of that could have been erased with a made 37-yard field goal.

But it wasn't.

The kick was missed, the game was lost and the Vikings fall to 0-2 on the season looking ahead at their home opener on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Worse yet, Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings fans will never, and I do mean NEVER be able to trust the Greg Joseph when he steps up for a kick the rest of the season.


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