Kicker Greg Joseph has had a marvellous start to his 2022 season.
In fact, his excellence predates the regular season. He didn’t miss a kick during the preseason, and the reviews coming out of training camp were seemingly all positive.
Now, I don’t need to remind Vikings fans about the perilous path that is Vikings kicking. Anyone who has followed this team for at least a few seasons can point to their own field goal heartbreak. Might things be different in 2022? Admittedly, I’m nervous even writing those words for fear I may jinx it.
While it’s unwise to take leave of our senses by assuming Greg Joseph won’t struggle at some point, it’s similarly unwise to assume that him facing some struggles is a foregone conclusion simply because he’s the Vikings’ kicker.
So far, Joseph has provided no reason for anything other than hope and optimism. He doesn’t get enough credit for the strength of his leg. He regularly sends the football sailing through the endzone on kickoffs, limiting the damage the opposition can do on kickoff return. Plus, he once again showed us that he’s more than capable of drilling kicks from deep:
Last year, Joseph connected on an impressive 7/9 from 50+. Week 1 suggests that he’s ready for an encore performance in 2022. He was perfect for his FGs and XPs.
Of course, we ought not overreact to one strong game. Adversity will arrive, it’s merely a matter of when. The key rests in how the team responds. Last year, Joseph was outspoken about his belief in himself following the Week 2 loss to Arizona where he missed a game-winning kick. To his credit, he lived up to what he promised, bouncing back to put together a strong season.
While perfection is always the goal, it seldom arrives. Indeed, football isn’t something that can be fully mastered so that there are no mistakes at all. Even the most accurate QBs throw interceptions; even the best tacklers fail to wrap up properly from time to time. Greg Joseph will be no different at kicker.
In the meantime, enjoy what Joseph is accomplishing. It was no guarantee that he’d be the Vikings’ K1 when he was first brought aboard in 2021, but he has earned his spot. Hopefully, he can keep proving that he can give Minnesota excellent kicking by continuing to handle himself with aplomb in pressure situations.