1 Vikings Player Certainly Won over the Masses

1 Vikings Player Certainly Won over the Masses
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings simply refuse to win any game without a Hollywood screenplay attached. Outlasting the New York Giants on Saturday, Minnesota moved to 11-0 in 2022 via one-score games, a mind-boggling stat as the Vikings were 6-8 (.428) last year in games decided by eight or fewer points.

The Vikings do not lose tight games. They either lose decisively or win by a whisker. That is the Vikings religion in 2022.

And en route to the Christmas Eve masterstroke versus New York, kicker Greg Joseph culminated a redemption tale. With the game on the line, tied at 24-24, Joseph smashed through a 61-yard field goal between the east endzone uprights, walking off the upstart Giants. Game over.

1 Vikings Player Certainly Won over the Masses

While the kick against the Giants was marvelous — and will live in Vikings lore eternally — the clutch gene is now commonplace for the South African. Joseph has spanked five game-winning field goals through 16 weeks, and it may not even feel like it.

Greg Joseph’s 2022 Game-Winners —

47 Yards — New Orleans Saints (Week 4)
28 Yards — Washington Commanders (Week 9)
33 Yards — Buffalo Bills (Week 10)
40 Yards — Indianapolis Colts (Week 15)
61 Yards — New York Giants (Week 16)

1 vikings player certainly
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Why doesn’t it feel like Joseph dominates the league and Vikings-themed conversations? Well, he’s been a mixed bag despite all the game-winners. Before Saturday, the Vikings ranked 18th in NFL per field goal and 30th in extra point conversion percentage. The 2022 campaign has not been a legendary kicking season, but Joseph performs at his best when it matters, emulating the Vikings team on the whole.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports.

Moreover, Joseph’s leg strength is shredding — and redefining — Vikings history. He’s now the owner of three of the top-five longest field goals in team history:

Longest FGs in Vikings History —

61 Yds = Joseph (2022)
56 Yds = Joseph (2022)
56 Yds = Walsh (2012)
56 Yds = Edinger (2005)
55 Yds = Joseph (2021)
55 Yds = Walsh (2014)
55 Yds = Walsh (2014)
55 Yds = Walsh (2012)
55 Yds = Walsh (2012)
55 Yds = Longwell (2007)

Plus, for a franchise starved for field-goal kicking stability, Joseph’s heroism really understands the assignment. Former Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a playoff-round-advancing field goal in 2015 –yes, seven years ago — and various iterations of the Vikings teams have never fully recovered. There’s always some godforsaken tomfoolery regarding field goals or extra points.

But, at least for a month or so, Joseph has avenged his midseason woes while putting dreadful historic Vikings kicking memories in the trunk. After Christmas Eve, with the 61-yard boom to vanquish the Giants, fans have a newfound confidence in Joseph — one that wasn’t there in October or November.

Coach's Proclamation Evidently Did the Trick for Vikings Kicker
Greg Joseph

Joseph will try for another perfect outing next weekend at the Green Bay Packers. He ended the Packers afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2021 with a [you guessed it] game-winning field goal. But kicking at Lambeau Field, perhaps in the rain or sleet, is a different animal.

Joseph is scheduled to become a free agent in March.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).