Greg Joseph Has Quietly Been Putting Together a Nice Year

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) after the win over the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a good thing when purple kickers aren’t in the headlines. Usually, an article on the Vikings’ kicking situation is the result of a terror-inducing, soul-crushing, expletive-laden field goal attempt. I hasten to add that the emphasis ought to be on the word “attempt.” Quite often, that’s all it was: a mere attempt that involved a football sailing off course, bringing the team’s chance at victory with it. Fortunately, Greg Joseph hasn’t given fans too many of those moments recently.

Greg Joseph and An Unstressful Kicking Game

Last week, I addressed the purple elephant in the virtual room: the Vikings seem unable to play a non-stressful game. In the past, that was often due to the special teams. The kicker was commonly the primary culprit. Even recently that history has been made worse by Daniel Carlson’s meltdown in Green Bay and Dan Bailey’s no-show in Tampa Bay.

Thankfully, Greg Joseph hasn’t put Vikings fans through too much this season.

I understand that he missed that kick against the Cards. There’s a case to be made that the coaching staff is as much to blame as Joseph. He also deserves praise for his clutch kicks against the Bengals and Lions.

Since the bye, Joseph has been perfect. He has hit every field goal and every extra point. That kind of boring consistency at kicker is what this team desperately needs. Now, there’s a whole lot more that the team needs to fix in order to start securing wins on a regular basis, but the broader point remains that Joseph has been far from Minnesota’s main problem. I, for one, have been spending my time mostly criticizing Klint, but you should feel free to choose your own scapegoat for the Vikings.

In the Chargers win, Joseph nailed 2 FGs and 3 XPs.

For the entire season, Joseph has pretty respectable numbers. He is 19/23 on field goals and 20/21 on extra points. That’s good for 82.6 and 95.2 percentages. It’s also worth noting that 82.4% of his kickoffs have gone for touchbacks. I’m not suggesting that Joseph is elite – his FG% is currently 22nd in the NFL – but I am suggesting that he has been steady, especially lately. Boring consistency ought to be the goal for any purple kicker.

Don’t forget that he has gone 5/6 on FGs of 50+ yards. I’ll take that any day of the week, especially on Sundays.

Moving Forward at Kicker

Greg Joseph is making a (by NFL standards) meager $780,000 this season. There are 30 NFL kickers making more. It’s a number that only accounts for 0.4% of the Vikings’ cap space; none of his contract is guaranteed.

What I’m trying to suggest is that Joseph has proven to be a great signing. Does he have what it takes to drill a kick to send us to the playoffs? Could he step up at a critical moment if the team somehow stumbles into the playoffs? Frankly, I don’t know. All that can be said for certain is that Joseph has been flawless since the bye. If he continues to be flawless, the Vikings will be in a much better position to put him in one of those high-pressure moments.

Joseph has put together a solid season for the Vikes. Minnesota’s leadership would be wise to look toward a new contract in the offseason, especially if his recent play continues.