The Vikings are on the wrong side of NFL history in two statistics
With time expiring in the first half between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles, kicker Jake Elliott drilled a 61-yard field goal to give the Eagles a 13-7 lead heading into the locker room.
A lot went wrong for the Vikings over the final three minutes of the half. After driving into Eagles territory, Justin Jefferson fumbled the football out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback. Then, the Vikings non-existent run defense allowed Boston Scott and Jalen Hurts to move Philadelphia into field goal range, where Elliott converted this kick.
Jake Elliott is GOOD from 61 yards 😳 pic.twitter.com/CJGjvkv6fj
— uSTADIUM App (@uSTADIUM) September 15, 2023
This kick held a larger significance than just extending the Eagles lead to 13-7, which then increased to 27-7 less than five minutes into the second half. Elliott’s kick tied an Eagles franchise record for the longest-made field goal in, which was also set against the New York Giants on Sep. 24, 2017.
When it comes to the Vikings, they are no strangers when it comes to teams setting or tying franchise-long field goals against them. In fact, the Vikings are No. 1 in that statistics among all NFL teams. On five occassions, a kicker has rewritten his team’s record books against the Vikes. The next closest teams are the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants where it’s happened to both of those franchises three times apiece.
On Oct. 23, 2011, Mason Crosby knocked down a 58-yard field goal in the third quarter at the Metrodome in a 33-27 Packers victory over the Vikings. Four years later, Greg Zuerlein converted on a 61-yarder from a four-field goal performance for the then St. Louis Rams. Luckily, the Vikings escaped in overtime.
Six years later, in 2021, Matt Prater drilled a 62-yarder, setting a Cardinals franchise record as the half ended. Arizona ended up winning the game 34-33, as Greg Joseph missed a potential game-winner with time expiring.
GOOD FROM 62! 🙌
Matt Prater makes it 24-23 Cardinals (-3.5) over the Vikings.
— TwinSpires Sportsbook 💵 (@TS_Sportsbook) September 19, 2021
It was Zuerlein’s turn the following year as he again knocked down a 60 yarder before halftime. Minnesota prevailed in that game against the New York Jets 27-22.
It gets even more weird
The misfortune for the Vikings doesn’t stop there. In the NFL’s 100-plus year history, there have been 34 made field goals from 60 yards or further. Six or 10% of them have been against the Minnesota Vikings. Along with Elliott, Prater, and Zuerlein, Brett Maher added salt to a wound of a Dallas Cowboys 40-3 beatdown of the Vikings on Nov. 20, 2022, with a 60-yarder himself before the break.
Brett Maher from another area code and the Cowboys are crushing the Vikings pic.twitter.com/QBpibXJb1U
— Bussin' With The Boys (@BussinWTB) November 20, 2022
After Elliott’s kick on Thursday night, the Vikings have now doubled the amount of the next closest team that’s allowed the most 60-yard or plus-long field goals. It’s happened to the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Giants, and the Eagles three times, while the Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks all experienced it twice.
It’s ironic with a splash of irony considering the Vikings kicking history the past 20-plus years. A team that experienced heartbreak through missed kicks from Gary Anderson and Blair Walsh in 1998 and 2015. A franchise that didn’t even get to see Ryan Longwell attempt a game-winner in the 2009 NFC Championship Game but released Daniel Carlson, arguably one of the best kickers in the NFL, for Dan Bailey, who melted down against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020, which had a direct impact on the Vikings missing the playoffs that season.
Sigh, the Vikings are always finding themselves on the wrong side of NFL history. It could make a Super Bowl victory even more sweeter, if that day ever comes.