Dan Bailey has helped many teams win games over his 10-year career. He just about single-footedly lost one for the Vikings on Sunday.
And it could cost him his job.
Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer was understandably miffed after Bailey missed four kicks, including three field goals, in a 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers.
"I'm really disappointed," Zimmer told reporters, per The Star Tribune. "I have a lot of faith in him, I have a lot of confidence in him, but these last two weeks have not been good."
A week ago, Bailey made a game-winning 23-yard field goal in overtime against the Jaguars. But that was only after he'd forced an extra period by missing three other kicks, two of which were extra points.
Following Bailey's latest bad day at the office, Zimmer said he still has to decide on whether it's his last in Minnesota. Bailey couldn't connect on kicks from 36, 54 and 46 yards out, while also missing the mark on an early PAT. The Vikings opted for a two-point try after their second touchdown, leaving Bailey scoreless on the afternoon.
He equaled his misses for the season coming into Week 14 and exceeded last year's total (27 of 29). Parting with the former Pro Bowler apparently won't be an emotional call, however.
"At this point in time we're not really worried about feelings anymore," Zimmer said.
Adding to the intensity of the situation was the cost of a December loss. The Vikings (6-7) had crawled back from a 1-5 start to the season to .500 and the seventh seed in the NFC. Now they are in a tie for eighth.
Zimmer, perhaps considering the Vikes' team-wide inconsistency throughout the season, closed out his postgame press conference by coming to his kicker's defense. We'll soon find out if it's his last favor for Bailey.
"If you guys want me to fire guys for making a mistake here or there, we wouldn't have any players," Zimmer said. "Let's not put this all on Dan Bailey."