Blair Walsh’s new contract with the Minnesota Vikings hasn’t helped the kicker iron out the inconsistencies that started to plague him last season. After going 0 for 3 on field goals against Oakland on Saturday, Walsh is 2 for 6 in the preseason.
If nothing else, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has one thing going for him right now: He’s a career 6-0 in preseason games. Minnesota beat Tampa Bay 26-16 Saturday night in the Vikings’ first of two preseason games at TCF Bank Stadium. There are still three more preseason games left and plenty can change in the next month, but here are seven takeaways from Saturday’s preseason victory.
The Minnesota Vikings announced Sunday that kicker Blair Walsh signed a contract extension. Walsh is entering his fourth NFL season, the final year of his rookie contract after the Vikings drafted him in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Minnesota Vikings have more confidence and optimism heading into this offseason than they did a year ago. They have two of the most important pieces in place in head coach Mike Zimmer and Teddy Bridgewater. Also, they improved in several areas from the past season. The Vikings have 12 free agents this offseason, but just one opening day starter.
The Minnesota Vikings outlasted the Chicago Bears for a 13-9 victory Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings finish the season with the third best record in the NFC North, despite winning just one inter-divisional game. The Vikings’ good, but not great, performances from the offense, defense and special teams units helped bring the win home.
The Minnesota Vikings were just getting started, with a rookie quarterback and a first-time head coach in Mike Zimmer so eager to maintain momentum he told the players to report to practice in a few days.
The Minnesota Vikings took a two touchdown lead before surrendering the lead in the second half. The Vikings fell Sunday to the Miami Dolphins 37-35 on a blocked punt safety with 41 seconds remaining in the game. The Vikings offense was good enough to win, but the defense was bad. The special teams units made one mistake that gave the Dolphins the game in regulation.
This is not the way Blair Walsh wants to finish the season. The Minnesota Vikings kicker is 1 for 6 with field goal attempts over the past two games. His success rate has fallen to 71 percent, the lowest of any regular kicker in the NFL this year.
The Minnesota Vikings jumped out to a 14-0 lead before surrendering 16 unanswered points to fall to the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field. The Vikings got early touchdowns from Matt Asiata and Greg Jennings, but a pair of Teddy Bridgewater interceptions turned the game around. The Vikings failed to get points the rest of the game, including a blocked field goal and missed field goal attempt in the second half.
Matt Prater’s 33-yard field goal with 3:38 remaining lifted Detroit to a 16-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, pulling the Lions into a tie for first place in the NFC North.
The Minnesota Vikings defeated the New York Jets 30-24 on an 87-yard touchdown catch by Jarius Wright in overtime Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings scored a touchdown on the first and last play of the game. The Vikings offense was slightly better than average, while the defense was slightly below average. Teddy Bridgewater saved the Vikings in the game and may be the franchise quarterback they have sought now for some time.
When Blair Walsh and Jeff Locke aren’t together kicking a football at work, go figure, you’re likely to find them together hitting a cue ball at home.
The Minnesota Vikings used two big special teams plays to defeat the Carolina Panthers 31-13 Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen returned a pair of blocked punts for touchdowns in the first half. Teddy Bridgewater threw a pair of touchdown passes to help the blowout. The defense struggled to stop the run, but made plays in the second half when they needed to.
The Minnesota Vikings fell into a tie for last place in the NFC North Division with a 21-13 loss to the Chicago Bears Sunday at Soldier Field. Teddy Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass to Rhett Ellison in the first quarter, but threw an interception late in the fourth to seal the loss. The best Vikings unit were the special teams, but they were so-so.
The Minnesota Vikings scored first and last to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-13 in overtime Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The Vikings offense was OK. They made plays when they needed to, even though it wasn’t very consistent. The defense was great through three quarters before falling apart in the fourth.
Anthony Barr forced a fumble on the first play of overtime and returned it 27 yards to score, giving the Minnesota Vikings a 19-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Minnesota Vikings stalled in the red zone and the Buffalo Bills scored in the final seconds for the game-winning score. The Vikings fell to 2-5 with a 17-16 defeat Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Vikings defense was very good, with the exception of a few plays and the game’s final drive. The offense was a disappointment again and Bridgewater is still a work in progress. The special teams were below average.
The Minnesota Vikings played another lifeless game. This time it was a 17-3 loss to the Detroit Lions at home. The Vikings defense kept them in the game, but the offense gave them nothing. The defense did not make enough plays to win the game themselves.
The Minnesota Vikings may not have been able to play a worse Thursday in Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. The surrendered the first 42 points and could only muster 10 points in garbage time in the fourth quarter. Their is very little positive things to say about the game for the Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Atlanta Falcons 41-28 on a big fourth quarter. The Vikings offense was as good as ever, the defense came up big plays in the fourth quarter, the special teams had their moments as well and Teddy Bridgewater looked like a future star. The Vikings improved to 2-2 with the win.
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The Minnesota Vikings fell to the New Orleans Saints 20-9 Sunday at the Superdome. The offense could not get into the end zone, settling for three field goals instead of getting touchdowns. The defense struggled early, but settled down and kept the team in the game. The special teams were good, with the exception of the punt return unit.
The Minnesota Vikings were blown out by the New England Patriots 30-7 Sunday in the team’s home opener at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings scored first, but surrendered 30 straight points to lose. There is nothing positive to say about the game. Every aspect of the game was bad for the Vikings.
The Minnesota Vikings posted a dominant performance in their season opening 34-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams Sunday the Edward Jones Dome. The Vikings made very few mistakes and limited the Rams’ stars. Cordarrelle Patterson ran the ball for over 100 yards on three carries and the defense tallied five sacks and two interceptions.
As the Minnesota Vikings move their home games outside for the next two seasons, the two specialists will be under the most pressure. To prepare for the elements, kicker Blair Walsh and punter Jeff Locke have made several visits to TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus with more planned before the home opener.