Greg had the leg and his Vikings Coach’s Back Against the Lions

For years the nickname “Greg the Leg” has been reserved for Greg Zuerlein, the current Cowboys kicker and former Rams kicker.

Make no mistake about it — there’s a new “Greg the Leg” in the NFL and he’s not waiting for Greg Zuerlein’s approval to don the nickname.

This man is coming in at the top of the kicking leaderboard by being the only current NFL kicker to not miss a single 50+yard field goal attempt this season going 5/5 from that distance.

His name is Greg Joseph and he plays for the Vikings.

Yes, those Vikings….. the Vikings who have quite the history of kicking field goals.

A kicking curse some would say.

In fact, it was just 3 weeks ago that Greg Joseph found himself on the wrong side of that curse.

One week after drilling an OT-clinching field goal for the Vikings against the Bengals, Joseph trotted out there for a 37-yard field goal despite having just missed a PAT earlier in the game.

It was an opportunity for Greg Joseph, the 28-year-old journeyman kicker, to walk the game off for the Vikings and give them their first win of the 2021 season.

Oh, and did I mention Greg Joseph hadn’t attempted a regular-season or postseason field goal since 2018 when he was with the Browns?

Three regular-season field goals to his name in three years and he must put the missed extra point behind him to win the game for his team.

This is the life of an NFL kicker.

Yet it’s one Joseph signed up for.

“Good snap. Clean hold. FOR THE WIN!”, exclaims the always enthusiastic color commentator Gus Johnson.

“OH MY GOODNESS! HE MISSED IT! UNBELIEVABLE! AND THE CARDINALS SURVIVE 34–33!”

Heartbreak.

“Let’s give the kid a break, okay?” – Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said at his Monday press conference a day after their loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Zimmer said in staunch support of something he had historically been its strongest opposition to.

So, what is this curse?

For those unfamiliar with the Vikings kicking history, it is best summed up by this tweet from a fan after the Vikings lost to the Cardinals.

“I haven’t trusted a kicker since ‘98”.

In 1998, Vikings kicker Gary Anderson missed his first field goal of the season…. at the end of the NFC championship game when the Vikings needed a field goal to win it.

A historic miss that was even talked about in “How I Met Your Mother”.

Since then the Vikings have had kickers Blair Walsh, Daniel Carlson, and Dan Bailey all continue the curse…

Fans were wondering was Joseph next???

After going 3 for 3 to start the Lions game, Joseph gave Vikings fans a big scare when he missed what would’ve likely been a game-clinching field goal.

Right after being good from 55, Joseph found himself kicking miraculously short from 49.

Something that could only be explained by a looming franchise curse.

One that Joseph can’t even go to a Vikings press conference without being asked about its gloomy cloud over the job Joseph has pursued as a career in the franchise he just signed with.

It’s Not Over….

“Here we go again. Typical Zimmer+ Zimmer’s terrible coaching again cost us a win!”

Rumblings quickly spread around that Zimmer will be fired if the Vikings become 1–4 and have an all-time collapse at the paws of the Detroit Lions.

Then the Lions score a field goal to make it a one-possession game.

“Vikings can salt the clock out!”

Nope. Alexander Mattison threw away the salt for us.

A fumble on their own 20-yard line that would quickly lead to a Lions touchdown.

“Zimmer is as good as gone!”, Fans exclaimed of the staunchly fire-Zimmer movement.

Then the Lions went down and scored a touchdown…..

Then the always intense head coach of the Detroit Lions Dan Campbell decided to go for a risky, statement-shocking come-from-behind nail in the coffin victory.

Campbell goes for two!

Jared Goff pass complete in the endzone to KhaDarel Hodge.

Lions 2 point conversion succeeds…

Zimmer’s seat was as hot as ever before.

The Lions were winning 17-16!

Unbelievable.

The Vikings had had a collapse of epic proportions it has deemed and were going to hand the winless streak of 4 games Detroit Lions their first win of the 2021 season.

37 seconds left. Two timeouts remaining. And suddenly down one point.

It was Captain Kirk time for the Vikings.

And is this going to be the day Joseph redeems himself and even manages to single-handedly save his coach’s job for one more week?

After two huge first downs in the Vikings two-minute drive, everything was in the hands of Greg.

Does Greg have “the leg” to make a 55-yard field goal attempt?

We were now in the hands of the commentator tandem of Chris Myers and Daryl Johnston.

“Well that shows you they have confidence in Greg Joseph from that distance.”

…..

“Joseph to give the Vikings the lead back! It’s up there! It’s out there and this time it’s THROUGH AS TIME EXPIRES!” — Chris Meyers projected as the Vikings hoist up Joseph in dramatic walk-off fashion.

“YOU LIKE THAT!” screams its trademark owner Kirk Cousins as he “celebrates” with Zimmer in an aggressive, yet awkward way that went viral on social media and the Internet.

Zimmer was finally on the right side of a game-winning field goal attempt that may have saved him his job.

And the once-maligned Joseph was able to be put his name on the right side of the “goat” vs “G.O.A.T.” debate.

Against the Cardinals, Zimmer had Joseph’s back.

Now Joseph has repaid the favor to his loyal head coach.

John Lane
John Lane is a student at the University of Minnesota pursuing his bachelor's in Communications. John is an avid Minnesota sports fan and writes about the Timberwolves, Vikings, and Wild. He is a sports contributor for Sports and Fitness Digest.

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