Vikings' Playoff Hopes Fade After Kicker Misses 3 Field Goals, Extra Point

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings kicker Dan Bailey had a Sunday he'd like to forget after missing an extra point and three consecutive field goals in his team's 26-14 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The loss sent the Vikings to 6-7 and, according to ESPNreduced their chances of making the playoffs to 22%.

The game got off to a bad start for Bailey when he pushed an extra point on the Vikings' first touchdown in the first quarter wide to the left. He then went on to miss his next three field-goal attempts, which were from 36, 54, and 46 yards out. Each one of those kicks was wide to the right.

Baily said he was disappointed and frustrated with the missed kicks.

"It was disappointing in the moment, obviously, and just overall," Bailey said. "Because more than anything, obviously, it has a real effect on the game -- clearly. But it's frustrating in the sense that you put in all this work, I feel like I've been hitting the ball well -- not only in practice but during the season -- so to go out there and perform that way was a little frustrating, obviously. For myself and everybody else, too, I'm sure. But you have to just put it behind you. You have to find a way to reset as quick as you can. That's all you can do. You can't dwell on it."

After the game, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer didn't place the blame on his kicker for the loss. Even if he had made all four kicks, the Vikings would have still lost to the Bucs by two points.

"I don't know right now," Zimmer said. "He kicked good during the week this week. So we'll just have to make a decision and go with it. I like the kid a lot. Like I said before, I've had tons of confidence in him. He's had a very good year. He's had a couple bad weeks now. But you know, we can't throw away 10 points and things like that. It's not just Dan Bailey. We gave up a 50-yard throw because a couple guys weren't in the right place. You can't do that either. If you guys want me to fire guys for making a mistake here, a mistake there, then we wouldn't have any players. Let's not put this all on Dan Bailey."

While Zimmer publicly supported his kicker, it is unclear if Bailey will be kicking field goals for the Vikings next week. He has missed seven out of nine kicks over the past two games.

"I don't know. I'm really disappointed," Zimmer added. "I have a lot of faith in him, I have a lot of confidence in him. But these last two weeks have not been good. I love the kid, he's a great kid, he's very even-natured. I don't know."

Photo: Getty Images

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