The Minnesota Vikings will head into the 2021 season with yet another new kicker, after replacing Dan Bailey in March. The Vikings surely have had their fair share of kickers in recent years. Let’s take a look back at who has kicked for the team since 1998. Some of these people may be better than you remember, but there are surely a couple you’d want to forget.
It’s all about being a Viking. Here, statistics will surely be taken into account, there will be other, more subjective, factors as well.
So which of these kickers from Minnesota history deserves to rank near the top of the list? Let us dive right into the top 5 Minnesota Vikings Best Place Kickers.
5. Gary Anderson
The name Gary Anderson invokes sad recollections among Vikings supporters. The tiny kicker from Syracuse by way of South Africa achieved the finest statistical season in franchise history in 1998. Anderson went 35-of-35 on field goals and 59-of-59 on extra-point tries. However, most fans will remember Anderson more for missing a field goal in the NFC Championship Game. The Vikings, who ended the season 15-1, finally lost that game to Atlanta in overtime.
Gary Anderson played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1998-2002. During his career, he amassed 2,434 points, good for second on the all-time record. He was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013 but wasn’t admitted.
4. Fuad Reveiz
A member of the Vikings from 1990 to 1995, Fuad Reveiz comes in at No. 4 on our ranking of the finest kickers in Vikings history. Reveiz came to the Vikings from Tennessee, having grown up in Bogota, Columbia. He gained his kicking skills playing soccer in his own country.
Reveiz wasn’t as precise as Gary Anderson, only making roughly 78 percent of his field goals for Minnesota, but he represented the Nordic image that Vikings fans admire. Reveiz genuinely looked like a football player. He stood 5’11” and weighed 225 pounds. It wasn’t unusual for Fuad to kick off, then race down the field and get in on the tackle. Reveiz didn’t look or behave, like a kicker.
Reveiz nailed 34-of-39 field goals as the Vikings finished 10-6 in 1994. His 132 points were good enough to earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl. He’s No. 4 on our list of the greatest kickers of all time.
3. Ryan Longwell
Ryan Longwell, like Gary Anderson, could easily make the list of top five kickers for two clubs. Longwell came to the Vikings in 2006 after nine successful seasons in Green Bay. He played six years in Minnesota, accumulating up 633 points. That’s excellent for the third position on the team’s all-time scoring list.
Longwell graduated from Cal in 1996 and began his Packer career in 1997. Over nine years in Green Bay, Longwell totaled 1,054 points and is currently the Packers’ all-time scoring leader. His NFL total of 1,687 points is good for 13th in league history.
Longwell nailed 86 percent of his field goals for the Vikings. He was dismissed prior to the 2012 season because of contract issues, short kickoffs, and Blair Walsh. Longwell signed with Seattle just prior to playoffs last year and averaged over 105 points a season.
2. Blair Walsh
Many Vikings supporters were scratching their heads in 2012 when the Vikings used a sixth-round draft selection on kicker Blair Walsh from Georgia. That fear evolved to serious dismay when the club fired longstanding kicker Ryan Longwell after rookie minicamp in May.
Those fears appeared absolutely legitimate. Most clubs don’t invest draft selections on placekickers when they already have a strong veteran on the squad. Even worse, Walsh had a terrible senior season at Georgia, only making 21-of-35 field goals. He missed more kicks in 2011 than he had in the previous three years combined.
He made 35-of-38 field goals and all 36 of his extra-point tries. That performance earned him first-team All-Pro accolades and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
1. Fred Cox
Cox came to the Vikings having a solid collegiate career at Pittsburgh. He joined the squad in 1963 and was the Minnesota kicker until 1977. He was also the team’s punter in 1963. Not as accurate as Walsh or Longwell, or as productive as Anderson or Reveiz, Cox leads our list because he was a regular on the Minnesota club during the most dominating era in franchise history. Cox was the kicker in all four of the Vikings’ Super Bowl appearances, and his 1,365 points still top the team’s all-time scoring record.
Cox achieved 100 points four times in his career, even though clubs only played 14 games per season. He was a first-team All-Pro choice in 1969 and was picked for the Pro Bowl in 1970. He retired in 1977 as the second-leading scorer in NFL history.
Cox was the No. 1 kicker in Minnesota Vikings history. He is widely credited as the designer of Nerf football. Cox also worked as a chiropractor after his playing career. His presence in club history made him an important part of Minnesota Vikings lore.