MINNEAPOLIS -- If special teams are your thing, Week 7 in Minneapolis was nirvana.
Between Minnesota Vikings kicker Kai Forbath and the Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker, the two specialists did most of the scoring in Minnesota’s 24-16 win, combining for nine field goals to tie an NFL record set by San Diego and Kansas City on Sept. 29, 1996.
Forbath went straight from the field to the cold tub, logging quality minutes for all the muscles in his legs and foot which were likely not as enthused as his teammates after he booted kick after kick on Sunday.
Forbath reached a career milestone when he made all six of his field goal attempts against the Ravens, including four from 40 or more yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Tucker, too, found success, going the distance of 57, 48 and 47 yards.
The Vikings kicker, along with Minnesota’s defense, helped bail out the offense when it struggled to establish a consistent rhythm by converting fourth downs into points on the scoreboard.
“He’s made some great kicks,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “He’s right on the edge of where he needs to be. I think it’s good that our offense understands where they have to be in order to get a field goal if we’re not going to get the third down.”
The distance didn’t bother Forbath, whose field goals reached lengths of 52, 51, 43 (two times), 34 and 32 yards. As each kick sailed through the uprights, Forbath’s poise grew.
“Every time you make one you get a little more confidence,” he said. “I felt good going into today and I’m going to carry it over to next week.”
One thing that won’t set his confidence back is his missed extra point following Latavius Murray’s 29-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. It’s one of four misses for Forbath on the season, with three of those coming on extra points.
“I haven’t seen the film yet,” he said. “I thought I hit it well. It’s nothing I’m worried about.”
While responsible for a bigger portion of the scoring in Week 7, things were business as usual for the kicker. Having to always be ready to run in after a touchdown keeps him on his toes. He was just a little bit more so Sunday, when he was called upon to handle the crux of the scoring, not just the exclamation point after a touchdown.
“It’s more so the net (work) on the side,” he said. “Every time we are in scoring position, I’m just kicking. Luckily, our punt returner also helped us get into position. I was staying busy.”