The Minnesota Vikings are three games into a disastrous season.
Except for the thing about winning or losing games. That part's going great!
Sunday, the Vikings upset the heavily favored Carolina Panthers, 22-10, battering the defending NFC champions and their lauded quarterback, Cam Newton.
During the game, the team also watched as offensive lineman Alex Boone, a free agent signing from this past offseason, was carted away from the field for medical treatment. Boone is scheduled for an MRI on his hip; should he have sustained a serious injury, he'd be the fourth notable Vikings player missing all or most of this season.
No Teddy Bridgewater, no Adrian Peterson, no Matt Kalil, no Boone... no problem? Really?
Evidently. The team won yesterday largely on the strength of a vicious defense and special teams play.
About that part. Kicker Blair Walsh missed another extra point attempt, his second miss this young season. Those blunders from short distance have Vikings fans recalling last season, when Walsh's missed last-minute field goal gifted a playoff win to the Seattle Seahawks.
Fans aren't exactly overlooking Walsh's issues. Here's a tweet from Nick Swardson, comic, actor, and Minnesota native, when a Vikings interception gave them back the ball on their 5-yard line with seconds left in the first half.
Nice pick. Time for a Walsh 98 yard field goal. Easy.— Nick Swardson (@NickSwardson) September 25, 2016
That kind of burn from a professional comic's not so bad. What stings a little more is this joke: A Craigslist ad taken out during yesterday's game that says the team's looking for a new kicker.
"Job details include kicking extra points and field goals from 20-60yds. must be able to make 90%+ kicking attempts," says the ad. "Please apply in person at Winter Park practice facility in Eden Prairie."
To be fair(er) to Walsh, the "90%+" expectation there is rather high. Walsh is seven-of-nine on all field goals so far, placing him easily in the top 10 among the league's kickers thus far. His four successful field goals accounted for the difference in the Vikings' win over the Tennesse Titans in Week 1.
Leave it to Vikings fans to dwell on two missing points for a team that's won all three of its games, despite losing four key players. Last year's season-ending heartbreak is not forgotten. Not yet. Not by long-suffering Vikings fans.
That's to be expected. The only guy who really needs to forget it, and soon, is Blair Walsh.