Welcome to the Monday edition of The Cooler, where it’s nice to suddenly have so much to talk about. Let’s get to it:
*Remember less than a month ago, when the Vikings were desperate enough in their quest to solve their kicking/punting situation that they traded a fifth-round pick to the Ravens for Kaare Vedvik?
Vedvik arrived to much fanfare and was a serious enough acquisition that he did a full news conference at the podium near the Vikings’ practice field in Eagan after his arrival. The sense was that a team doesn’t just give up a fifth-round pick for depth. Vedvik was going to wind up as either the placekicker or punter.
Until he didn’t. The Vikings cut him, opting to hang with Dan Bailey after he straightened out during the rest of camp while also adding veteran punter Britton Colquitt instead of Vedvik or incumbent Matt Wile.
The kicker-needy Jets scooped up Vedvik and made him their Week 1 kicker. The Vikings trotted out Bailey in Week 1. And …
Advantage Vikings, at least so far (minus a fifth-round pick, of course).
It was an admittedly quiet day for Bailey, who didn’t attempt a field goal but drilled all four of his extra points. For the Vikings, a quiet kicking day is a good kicking day.
Vedvik, on the other hand, missed both an extra point and a 45-yard field goal for the Jets — his only two kicks of the day, as the Jets went for 2 (and made it) on their other touchdown and also scored on a safety. The missed extra point came on the Jets’ first touchdown, and the missed field goal came as time expired before halftime.
The misses seemed destined to fade into the background as the Jets built a 16-0 lead in the second half against Buffalo. But when the Bills rallied for a 17-16 win, those missing four points suddenly became magnified as one of the differences in the game.
“We have to make extra points. We have to make field goals. We can’t be losing out on points in those areas of the field,” Jets coach Adam Gase said.
Gulp. That sounds a little like how grumpy Mike Zimmer was last year after Daniel Carlson missed three field goals in a Week 2 tie vs. Green Bay.
It should be noted, however, that Carlson was solid in Week 1 last year before that disaster that led to the Vikings getting Bailey. So don’t get overconfident about one good week of kicking. For now, though, keeping Bailey this year at least seems like the right move.
*Elena Delle Donne made WNBA history on Sunday, capping off the first 50/40/90 season in league history. That means she made at least 50% of her field goals, 40% of her three-pointers and 90% of her free throws. She eclipsed each mark easily, including a ridiculous 97.4% from the free throw line.
*I’ll write a little more about the Twins later, but before panic too much it’s good to remember the Twins have a 97.4 percent chance to win the division and that Cleveland is almost as banged up as Minnesota is right now. In fact, there really aren’t any close division races in all of baseball.