Vikings Kicker Took Aim at Team’s Record Book on Saturday

Interesting State of
Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) looks on before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Lost slightly in the gratifying performance of the Minnesota Vikings new punter Ryan Wright, kicker Greg Joseph gnawed at the team’s record book on Saturday night.

The Vikings ended a winless preseason against the Denver Broncos, but special teams were the highlight of the event. Wright drilled four punts for 225 yards and a 56.3 yards-per-punt average. Not bad.

Refusing to be outdone, Joseph spanked a 58-yard field goal through the uprights to start the 4th Quarter.

The kick, in Denver’s thin air, was an achievement unfamiliar to Vikings fans. Minnesota’s kickers don’t typically convert such kicks, not since the early days of Blair Walsh — before his career suddenly died.

In fact, if Joseph’s 58-yarder had taken place in a regular season or playoff game, it would’ve been the longest successful field goal in Vikings history.

Through the 2021 season, these are the longest converted field goals in Vikings history:

  • 56 Yards = Blair Walsh (2012)
  • 56 Yards = Paul Edinger (2005)
  • 55 Yards = Greg Joseph (2021)
  • 55 Yards = Blair Walsh (2012)
  • 55 Yards = Blair Walsh (2012)
  • 55 Yards = Blair Walsh (2014)
  • 55 Yards = Blair Walsh (2014)
  • 55 Yards = Ryan Longwell (2007)
Dec 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) and punter Jordan Berry. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Joseph was nominated for kicking duties in 2021 after the 2020 season went aloof for Dan Bailey, who kicked for the Vikings from 2018 to 2020. Per his agent, Joseph led the NFL in touchback percentage and was sixth in total field goals made.

Of all kickers attempting 25+ field goals in 2021, Joseph ranked 13th, converting 86.8% of kicks. And by Vikings kicker standards, this can be classified as cause for celebration. Joseph also hit 36 of 40 extra points. That mark isn’t fabulous, but it was somehow an improvement for Minnesota during the Mike Zimmer era.

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

Joseph was also 7 for 9 on kicks of 50+ yards in 2021 — the exact same ratio as Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. During Minnesota’s training camp, Joseph banged through ginormous kicks almost daily.

But versus the Broncos was the first time he did so in a semi-real setting. And in a quiet, roundabout way, it had enough oomph to be the longest kick in Vikings history.

Now, the South African kicker just has to translate the masterstroke to the regular season, especially for Vikings fans to tame their usual kicker skepticism.

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 Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

Kirk Cousins to 49ers Gossip Is Back

Vikings Territory Also Read: Kirk Cousins to 49ers Gossip Is Back