Dan Bailey Bounced Back
In Week 13, Minnesota Vikings kicker Dan Bailey missed two extra points and a field goal. In Week 14, Bailey missed three field goals and his lone extra point attempt, going 0/4 for the day. In Week 15, though, Bailey bounced back. He was a perfect 5/5, hitting all three of his field goals and his two extra points. Bailey is thus a worthy focus for TVG’s Unsung Hero article.
Minnesota Vikings K Dan Bailey
Vikings fans are all too familiar with what it feels like to see their kicker miss in big moments. Folks, there is a reason why some of the popular Vikings websites are called Purple PTSD and Purple Pain Forums. Unfortunately, this history of missing kicks often leads to a “not again” feeling whenever one of our kickers plays poorly. When Bailey had his rough two-game stretch, many were calling for Mike Zimmer to find a replacement.
Since Mike Zimmer said he hasn't made a decision RE: Dan Bailey, I asked him how he plans to evaluate his kicker's psyche, know whether his confidence is shot beyond repair and what he'll need to know/see to be confident in Bailey being able to go and do his job. His answer: pic.twitter.com/l52gGRlgRv
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) December 14, 2020
Zimmer, perhaps because he has learned from his past impatience, decided to stand behind Bailey. Minnesota’s impatient coach preached about the importance of patience. Rather than judge Bailey solely on two poor games, judge him on his entire career. As a whole, Bailey’s career has been sensational; he is in the top-10 all-time of most accurate kickers in league history. Against the Bears in Week 15, Bailey returned to his accurate ways.
It’s also worth noting that Bailey did a nice job with the kickoffs. Last time Minnesota faced the Bears, Bailey kicked the ball directly at Cordarrelle Patterson. Things went poorly. This past Sunday, Patterson was forced to handle squib kicks and one line drive. The coverage did a much better job of corralling Patterson, and Bailey’s kicks were a big part of the equation.
During the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings signaled their intent to be dominant on special teams by investing in this area. The Minnesota Vikings thus signed Dan Bailey and Britton Colquitt to big contracts. Things have been a little rocky for the special teams, and Bailey has certainly participated in the unit’s up-and-down moments. With two games left, the Vikings will be hoping Bailey can continue his strong play.