Kicker deserves the boot (Opinion)

Caesar Knight

Jessica Kimmes

Caesar Knight

By Caesar Knight

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The Green Bay Packers game vs the Minnesota Vikings took place this Sunday at twelve noon in Green Bay. Both teams came out to play, each scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. However in the second and third quarters, the Vikings were falling behind with the Packers dominating, preventing the Vikings from scoring any touchdowns for two quarters. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Vikings started to gain hope. By scoring 22 points, they were able to hold the Packers to just nine. The fourth quarter ended with a tie between the warring teams.

You have to give some credit to the Minnesota Vikings offense; acquiring Kirk Cousins was a huge game changer for them. The Vikings were trailing double digits in the fourth quarter when they got themselves back into the football game. Cousins is exactly what the Vikings needed to get themselves back into the Super Bowl talks. Cousins threw for 425 yards along with four TD passes (YouTube: “Vikings vs. Packers Week 2 Highlights | NFL 2018”).

I haven’t seen a quarterback for the Vikings come out and play like that since Teddy Bridgewater was getting started.

There was a controversial call that cost the Packers the game. This was when Clay Matthews was flagged for rushing the passer. He sacked Cousins leading to an interception down field. The play was overturned. A huge poll that is taking place this year is “roughing the passer,” meaning after the quarterback has released the ball from his hands, the defense can no longer tackle him, unless the tackle is caused by the  momentum of the the body. Matthews III stated “Roughing the passer penalties are out of control; you see how it changed the game. I don’t know what to do” (YouTube: “Packers LB Clay Matthews sounds off on his roughing the passer penalty vs. Vikings”).

When you’re playing defense everything is coming so fast. When a defensive player is coming at the QB, there isn’t much they can do. A main goal that the NFL has been trying do for years is protect the QB. In 2017 alone there were 10 important quarterbacks that took some intense injuries to their collar bone, knees and ankles.

While sacking Cousins, Matthews put his hand on the ground before Cousins fell to prevent the quarterback from getting hurt. The refs, in flagging him, were implying that he picked up Cousins and drove him into the ground and also put his body weight on him.  In the play if you were to pay close attention, it would look as if Matthews fell sideways. It doesn’t look like he was roughing the passer (YouTube: “Roughing the passer or clean hit? | Worst Call NFL Week 2”). These calls are soft, and the NFL cares more about the QB than any other player in the league. Eventually this will become a problem.

In this game there were many missed field goals. It was just field goal after field goal that cost the Packers and the Vikings the game. Crosby made the first one but it didn’t count because the vikings called a time out with one second left on the play clock forcing them to try a second kick, which he missed. The 52-yard field goal forced overtime. The three missed field goals by Carlson cost the Vikings the game, and it also cost Carlson his job. The Vikings cut him two days later and picked up another kicker, Dan Bailey.

It’s never a guaranteed win in the NFL. Now it’s time to move on and see who is the best team in the division. The Vikings had the right to fire Carlson, with three missed field goals in one game, especially when it meant the most in division rivalry.