Category Archives: Nike Cheap Jerseys

Bud Cooper Jersey Retro

MISSOURI (KFVS) -Sometimes the news is tough to report. Faces of crime victims can become etched in our memories. But hundreds of the worst stories we’ve shared with you over the years have one thing in common. They were all worked by the same investigator.

“I don’t think specifically I’ve done anything,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Master Sergeant Bud Cooper.

Bud Cooper with Colonel Eric Olsen
Bud Cooper with Colonel Eric Olsen (Source: Courtesy: Bud Cooper)
I recently sat down with Cooper, who’s leaving the Patrol after nearly three decades.

“I think I’ve been very fortunate because southeast Missouri’s blessed with a lot of good policemen. Dedicated men and women that work tirelessly day and night to get to the successful conclusion of cases.”

Those officers will tell you Cooper is the best of the best.

Officer Bud Cooper
Officer Bud Cooper (Source: Courtesy: Bud Cooper)
“No. I’m not sure who said that,” he said when I tell him that. “That’s kind. I don’t feel that way. I think that my life has been touched by lots and lots of great policemen doing lots of great work. And it’s been a learning experience the whole time.”

The head of the Patrol, Colonel Eric Olsen, joined a host of other law enforcement heavyweights in recently honoring Cooper. Troop E Commander Captain Phil Gregory said they estimate Cooper has handled more than 500 homicides.

I documented Cooper’s years of work to solve the 1998 murders of Sherri and Megan Scherer.

Sherri and Megan Scherer
Sherri and Megan Scherer (Source: Courtesy: Tony Scherer)
“That’s one of those cases that never leaves you,” Cooper said of the Scherer case. “I mean, you can be working another case and you still think about that one.”

Cooper’s daughter Natalie McKnight recalled her dad’s dedication to that case and countless others.

“I looked at it as pretty dangerous. And he would be gone a lot. He’d be out working like two, three, four days at a time. With no sleep, you know. Yeah, we worried a lot.”

Not just about the work, his son Trey Cooper said, but about the impact of what their dad did week in and week out.

“It’s very taxing on one, his time. And over the decades I would assume it’s been pretty emotionally taxing. But it’s still a miracle to me that he’s able to be such a good dad with such a heavy load.”

Bud and Katie Cooper and their children
Bud and Katie Cooper and their children (Source: Courtesy: Bud Cooper)
Cooper’s workload is decreasing at a time when his family is growing. And many in law enforcement credit him with growing a real relationship between departments, creating a network of cooperation across the region.

“I think I’m just a piece of that puzzle,” Cooper explained. “Just a part of the gear that turns the big machine. I think there’s lots of valued members of that team that keep us going.”
Bud Cooper Jersey Retro

Bud Cooper is back home in New Madrid and not getting out of law enforcement entirely.

Sheriff Terry Stevens has tapped Cooper to become his department’s Captain of Detectives. This next phase of Cooper’s law enforcement career begins on Monday.

Ryan Yarborough Jersey Retro

If you believe the Giants should not bother to upgrade any parts of their 40-man roster in 2020, then this post isn’t for you. This post is for those wondering just how the Giants could make some minor additions here and there that would upgrade the talent, not break the bank, and not tie up a huge percentage of payroll years from now.

Let’s start with the rotation, because that’s easily the worst part of the team.

You might say it’s the bullpen — because what good is starting pitching or an offense if the team can’t hold a lead? — but consider that with Shaun Anderson, Tyler Rogers, Wandy Peralta, Tony Watson, Trevor Gott, Jandel Gustave, and Sam Selman already in the mix and Trevor Gott himself signalling that the team always has a shot at finding a gem on the waiver wire, the bullpen might not look great when compared to last season, but it’s not completely devoid of talent.

Can the Giants really count on 34-year old Johnny Cueto to be an effective 160+ inning guy facing the likes of the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Braves? Can Jeff Samardzija survive another full season with a sub-8 K/9 and outperform his FIP by a full run again? That’s a lot to ask, and analytics-wise they both have a lot of red flags.

As much as I like Tyler Beede, he’s still developing. Logan Webb, too. Conner Menez and Andy Suarez might ultimately be dueling Ty Blachs in terms of their role on the roster (spot starter/long reliever), and I have my doubts about Dereck Rodriguez surviving Spring Training. The Giants claimed Tyler Anderson in part to stave off this rotation apocalypse and he definitely has the potential to be Hydrox Madison Bumgarner, but the actual rotation depth isn’t thin, it’s nonexistent.

Zaidi agrees!

”We’re looking at pitching depth and flexibility,” Zaidi said. “We’ve got a relatively young pitching group on our 40-man roster at this point. So we’d certainly be open to adding more veterans and more innings. We’re going to be open to anything and see what the market yields.”

Therefore, I submit to you left-handed pitcher Martín Pérez, formerly of the Twins.

He’s pitched fewer than 1,000 innings in his 8-year major league career and turns 29 just after Opening Day. He’s also coming off two confusing seasons: a 76 ERA+ in 2018, 90 ERA+ in 2019. He started 29 games and pitched 165.2 innings for Minnesota last year and it would appear the only reason why they cut him was to giving him a raise:

[...] Twins have some interest in bringing left-hander Martin Perez back in 2020, although clearly at a lower rate than the $7.5MM club option the team declined earlier this month. Speculatively speaking, it’d be interesting to see what the hard-throwing Perez could do in short relief stints, and the Twins don’t have much on the roster in terms of left-handed relief options beyond closer Taylor Rogers. Perez averaged 94.1 mph on his fastball as a starter in 2019 and would presumably see that velocity trend upward with a move to the bullpen.

I know what you’re gonna say: Bryan, you idiot, he doesn’t sound good at all!

Except, I think he kinda-sorta actually maybe could be pretty good next year, and especially if Oracle Park becomes his home stadium.

What got me thinking about Pérez in the first place was this post on the Rays’ SB Nation site, D Rays Bay: “Is Ryan Yarborough the new model for pitchers?” The premise here is that Yarborough’s talent for inducing soft contact has helped him excel (2.7 fWAR in 2019) despite a subpar skill set (84-88 mph with a cutter and sinker) and that maybe pitchers who are good at limiting hard contact especially in a mystery ball era have a distinct opportunity to succeed.

The average exit velocity against Yarborough in 2019 was 84.1 mph. His hard hit rate was 26.2%. Both of those were the best in baseball in 2019. Fifth place in both categories?

Okay, so, I spoiled the answer with the article headline, but yeah. It’s Martín Pérez.

If you set the Statcast minimum to 400 batted ball events, Martín Pérez’s contact against numbers really stand out.

85.4 mph exit velocity — top 4% of MLB
29.7% Hard Hit rate — top 7% of MLB
.304 xwOBA — 45th in MLB (of 154)
.386 xSLG — 28th in MLB (better than Paxton, Greinke, Yarbrough, Soroka)
Zaidi also mentioned in his comments about the roster goals this offseason that

“We’re still in a mode where we want to compete next year,” Zaidi said. “We want to play meaningful baseball as deep into the season as we can, which was our stated goal in 2019.”

But, yeah, I get it. The Giants stink. But what if they could add the Hydrox version of Madison Bumgarner and the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Hyun-Jin Ryu version of Hyun-Jin Ryu in the same offseason and all for the cost of one of these name brand players?

Oh, wait. I’m not pulling a Ryu comp out of nowhere. He’s 3rd on the average exit velocity leaderboard (85.3 mph) and 10th on the hard hit rate board (30.8%). Here’s a quick and dirty comp:

Pérez is younger (29 vs. 33)
Throws harder (94 mph fastball vs. 91 mph)
More durable (435.2 IP vs. 391.2 IP over the last three seasons)
Cheaper ($4 million in 2019 vs. $17.9 million)
2.3 fWAR Steamer projection vs. 2.9 fWAR
Here’s where Pérez falls down, though (2019 numbers):

1st time through order: .231/.295/.366
2nd time through order: .329/.384/.524
3rd time through order: .272/.345/.429
Pitches 1-25: .250/.327/.375
Pitches 26-50: .301/.360/.485
Pitches 51-75: .301/.374/.497
Pitches 76-100: .269/.325/.389
Pitches 101+: 0-for-6 with 2 strikeouts
Yeah, that’ll do it. Makes sense why the Twins would want to convert him into a reliever. This is also a guy who’s had a 4.95 ERA / 4.75 FIP over the last four seasons and the worst K/9 (5.75) in baseball since 2016. He has been exactly as valuable (6.4 fWAR) as Jhoulys Chacin and Julio Teheran and only more valuable (again — minimum 600 IP) than Andrew Cashner and Mike Fiers.

So, he has been an elite pitcher for rebuilding squads (first the Rangers then the Twins), which would seem to make the Giants an ideal landing spot for him. And as bad as those last four seasons have looked combined, I can’t help but notice that he raised his strikeout rate to a career-best 7.3 K/9 this past season while keeping his walk rate around where it has been the past few seasons (3.6 BB/9). He brutalized left-handed batters, too: .228/.291/.294 in 148 plate appearances. Could you imagine him facing the Dodgers?

Don’t forget that the Giants have a little bit of pitcher whispering ability in them. Do I think the Giants’ brain trust is better than the Rangers’ and Twins’ and could get Perez to ditch his sinker entirely and utilize his four-seamer or cutter more and to greater effect? Yes, absolutely. Trevor Gott is already a success story. Tyler Anderson looks setup to be another.
Ryan Yarborough Jersey Retro

Maybe he doesn’t fit on the roster as a full-on starter, but maybe as an opener? A follower? The next Drew Pomeranz? This year’s Derek Holland? That might be the better comp because Zaidi paid Holland $6.5 million based on a 2-win projection for 2019, which is where Pérez projects to be for 2020. A hard-throwing lefty who gets soft contact and gets to face National League hitters and play at home in Oracle Park? In a competitive year he’d be an exciting project. In a year that figures to suck no matter what the Giants do, any diversionary projects must be embraced.

Quenton Meeks Jersey Retro

While enjoying their bye week entering Week 12, the Los Angeles Chargers were given some unfortunate news.
It has been reported that defensive back Michael Davis will be suspended for the team’s next two games following a violation of the league’s policy against substance abuse.

Davis, an undrafted free agent out of BYU in 2017, is in his third season with the team. He has earned the role as a starting cornerback for the team and has 21 tackles, one interception and five passes defended on the season.

The news comes after Davis was spotlighted during the Monday Night Football loss to the Kansas City Chiefs this past week in Mexico, as Davis is familiar with that area due to his Mexican heritage. His mother, Ana Martinez, is from Mexico and he had made several trips there while growing up.

Things were looking up for Davis, who had played in nearly 500 consecutive defensive snaps for the team this season. This will be a hurdle he will need to overcome.

Brandon Facyson will likely step into a larger role in the team’s next two games against the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars. Also, look for the team to call up either Tevaughn Campbell or Quenton Meeks from the practice squad for added depth in those two games.

RELATED STORY: Where does Michael Davis rank on the Chargers roster?
Desmond King could also see additional snaps at one of the outside cornerback spots.
Quenton Meeks Jersey Retro

Following his suspension, Davis will be eligible to return in Week 15 against the Minnesota Vikings. That game takes place on Sunday Night Football.

Chad Slade Jersey Retro

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eli Manning is back in the starting lineup for the New York Giants with Daniel Jones out with a sprained right ankle. He’ll get the start in Monday night’s game at Philadelphia.

Jones was hurt a week ago Sunday in a loss to the Green Bay Packers. The sixth pick overall in the draft finished the game but his injury prevented him from working out this week.

The 38-year-old Manning has taken the majority of snaps in practice. Manning started the opening two games of the regular season, losses to Dallas and Buffalo.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Nelson Agholor and defensive end Derek Barnett are inactive for Monday night’s game.

Agholor’s absence with a knee injury means the Eagles will play with just three wide receivers: Alshon Jeffery, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward.

Barnett has an ankle injury and will miss his first game of the season.
Chad Slade Jersey Retro

Running back Jordan Howard, defensive end Shareef Miller, linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill, center Nate Herbig and guard Sua Opeta also are inactive for the Eagles.

Also inactive for the Giants: running back Wayne Gallman, cornerback Corey Ballentine, guard Chad Slade, tackle Eric Smith, tight end Rhett Ellison and tight end Evan Engram.

Fred Beasley Jersey Retro

San Francisco officials are extending a pilot program examining the impact of keeping three public bathrooms open around the clock in neighborhoods where requests for feces removal really tend to pile up.

The extension is expected to build on the success of an experiment that began in August, when the city decided to keep three Pit Stops — public stalls with on-site staffers — open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

SFC-logo ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER? LOG IN
You’ve reached your monthly article limit.
Subscribe now to keep reading.
BEST VALUE
DIGITAL
Unlimited digital access
95¢ for the first 3 months
renews at $9.95/mo
GET DIGITAL ONLY
BEST VALUE
DIGITAL (ANNUAL)
Unlimited digital access
$69.99 for the first year
renews at $99 for 12 months
GET ANNUAL OFFER
Cancel Anytime
As San Francisco confronts the growing volumes of human and animal waste showing up on sidewalks, officials have been under pressure to open more Pit Stops and to keep them open longer.

Former Pike County running back Steve Coleman made one more great run Thursday.

Voters helped the 1989 Mr. Football winner make a final-day charge to finish on AL.com’s Mount Rushmore of modern-day high school football in Southeast Alabama.

Coleman, who wasn’t in contention during the first three days of voting, joined Central-Phenix City legend Woodrow Lowe, Carroll standout Wilbur Jackson and Lee-Montgomery running back Fred Beasley on the figurative mountain. The voting area included Montgomery, Auburn and the Wiregrass.

Nearly 900 ballots were cast by AL.com readers in four days.

Julio Jones
Coastal Alabama’s Mount Rushmore

Foley’s Julio Jones, Theodore’s C.J. Mosley and Daphne’s T.J. Yeldon and Pat White were voted to the Mount Rushmore of Coastal Alabama HS football.

Coleman, Lowe, Jackson and Beasley now advance to the next week’s final voting to determine Alabama’s overall Mount Rushmore – or the state’s four best players regardless of position in the last 50 years.

The final four will be announced Aug. 21 – the day before the 2019 high school season begins.

Lowe led this week’s voting all week, but he finished just three votes ahead of Coleman when the poll closed Thursday. Jackson and Beasley rounded out the top four.

Lowe was an All-State back for the Red Devils in 1971 and became one of only two University of Alabama players to be named an All-American three times (the other being Cornelius Bennett, another Mount Rushmore finalist from the Birmingham area). Lowe was named an All-American in 1973, 1974, and 1975. He is a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.

Coleman rushed for 5,592 yards on 768 carries in his prep career. He set an AHSAA record with 66 rushing TDs. He also scored 12 on punt returns, six on kickoff returns, three on receptions, two on fumble returns and one on an interception return giving him 90 for his career.

2019 Mt. Rushmore Bham HS football
Birmingham’s Mount Rushmore of HS football

Readers picked McAdory running back Bo Jackson, Ensley linebacker Cornelius Bennett, Jackson-Olin do-it-all back David Palmer and Woodlawn running back Tony Nathan as the four best HS players of the last 50 years.

Jackson was the first black player to be offered a scholarship at the University of Alabama. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. In high school, he played football and baseball and was selected the Most Valuable Player in 1969 as well as the Most Valuable Offensive Back. Known for his ability to return kicks, Jackson scored 17 TDs as a senior. He was a first-team All-State pick as a senior.

Beasley was a first-team All-State selection in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and was a Parade All-American in 1993. He enjoyed consecutive 1,500-yard seasons as a sophomore and junior. In an injury-plagued senior season, he ran for 801 yards on 131 carries. He finished his career with 3,894 yards and a school-record 62 TDs.

AL.com’s summer-long quest to have readers vote on the top four players in the state for the last 50 years will conclude next week. The process started with a two-week nomination process, which netted more than 1,200 nominations. The AL.com staff trimmed the list down to 25 players in each of four regions.
Fred Beasley Jersey Retro

Sixteen remain. They are Lowe, Coleman, Jackson and Beasley in the Southeast; Julio Jones, C.J. Mosley, T.J. Yeldon and Pat White from the Coast; Bo Jackson, Bennett, David Palmer and Tony Nathan from Birmingham; and Ozzie Newsome, John Hannah, Carnell Williams and Philip Rivers from the North.

Voting begins Monday.

Robert Jones Jersey Retro

“Blues from the Lowlands” holds a special place in the heart of blues lovers in metro Detroit. Hosted by award-winning blues musician, storyteller and reverend Robert Jones, the program delivered on the genre’s vast history and sound.

“It started in the country blues and the formation of the blues going back to 1920 and beyond — then going on into modern day,” says Jones during his interview with CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper. “North Carolina Blues, Chicago Blues, Mississippi Delta Blues and also elements of gospel and spirituals. It was a pretty wide survey of African American traditional music.”

Making its debut in 1984 and airing on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Jones’ show cut into the depths of the music and its makers, providing a platform that entertained while educating listeners on its evolution.

Jones’ appreciation of the art form led to fanfare and relationship-building with his audience.

“One of the things I think made WDET an oasis for the folks who like that kind of music is that it was music that people didn’t hear anywhere else. [And it] eventually came to precede folks like us [Blues from the Lowlands] with Matt Watroba, which preceded Arkansas Traveler with [the late] Larry McDaniel,” says Jones. “So you had about a seven hour block of traditional acoustic music that referenced all of America’s roots music in some way, shape or form.”
Robert Jones Jersey Retro

“Blues from the Lowlands” aired for nearly twenty years. Jones resigned in 2003 to accept an appointment as Pastor of Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit.

Click the player above to hear Robert Jones break down the history of the blues and its significance in America’s cultural fabric with CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper.

Bill Roffler Jersey Retro

William “Bud” Roffler played for the love of the game, and it loved him back.

For 60 years until his death Tuesday at age 84, Roffler’s fame followed him from Spokane to Pullman to the NFL and back again.

“We heard it all the time from people we met,” his daughter, Debbie Roffler, said Wednesday: “ ‘Oh, my God, your dad was the best athlete who ever came from Spokane.’ ”

Few could argue the point. Roffler seized the athletic moment wherever he played, on every playing field he could find.

Born on Sept. 16, 1930, in Whitman County, Roffler enrolled at Lewis and Clark High School before his sophomore year. After his father died, his mother moved the family from Pine City to Spokane’s north side.

Roffler lived in the North Central neighborhood, but at that time, students had the option to attend another school. His older cousin, Bill Roffler, who played on one of Elra “Squinty” Hunter’s state championship basketball teams, told Bud that LC was the place to go.

Roffler told The Spokesman-Review in 1999 that at 14 years old and 150 pounds, he was reluctant to turn out for football “because I was scared to death.”

As the school year began in 1945, Roffler and other boys not playing football were enrolled in gym class.

Classmates asked him, “Are you one of those Pine City Rofflers? What are you doing in a gym class? I think you better turn out for football.”

“I didn’t think I had a chance,” Roffler said.

Weeks later, he scored twice against Gonzaga Prep and returned an interception for a score in an 8-7 win over Rogers.

Roffler went on to be a three-year starter in football, basketball and baseball, leading the Tigers to city titles in all three sports.

His star ascended at Washington State, where legends crossed paths. He played basketball for Jack Friel, baseball for Buck Bailey and everywhere for the football team: halfback, safety, place-kicker, punter and kick returner.

He capped his WSU career by rushing for 132 yards in a 27-25 Cougars win at Washington in 1951. The next year, he was drafted, twice – by the Green Bay Packers and the U.S. Army.

In 2011, Roffler was inducted into the Washington State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Roffler played on a national military championship game in Fort Ord, California, before joining the Packers. He played three years as a defensive back in Green Bay and Philadelphia.

Playing long before the era of free agency, Roffler “played because he loved the game, every single sport that he was in,” Debbie Roffler said.

Roffler’s playing career was shortened by a concussion suffered in an auto accident. He and wife Maggie returned to Spokane, where Roffler worked until the mid-1990s for B&B Distributors (now King Distributors).

“He always told people, ‘I’m Bud the Bud man,’ ” Debbie Roffler said.

Roffler died of pneumonia Tuesday night at Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley. He is survived by his wife Maggie and two daughters, Roffler and Cindy Lynch.

Funeral services are pending, Debbie Roffler said.

Wordcount: 517

Willie Whitehead Jersey Retro

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Milwaukee man made his first court appearance in Brown County for a 2017 Child Trafficking and Armed Robbery case.

Willie Whitehead Jr, 28, is accused of providing a child for purpose of commercial sex acts. He’s also accused of robbing a man in Bellevue.

The case dates back to March 2017. Police were investigating the armed robbery in Bellevue and found a link to human trafficking.

A Two Rivers Police Officer contacted the Brown County Sheriff’s Office to report a juvenile runaway had returned home from Green Bay, where she had been “working”, according to a criminal complaint.

The girl knew the people involved in the Bellevue robbery. She was shown a photo and identified one of the suspects as Willie Whitehead.

The girl, aged 16 at the time, said she had been with Whitehead, who she knew because he used to date her mother. Whitehead had reached out to the girl on Facebook “because he knew things were not going well at home.”

The girl said Whitehead drove to Two Rivers to pick her up and brought his sister’s home in Milwaukee.

The girl said she was told by Whitehead’s sister, “We’re all a team. We all make money.”

The girl said she was later taken to a hotel in Green Bay and made to perform sexual acts for money.

Later, Whitehead and the girl met up with a man known as “Ben.” Willie and Ben hatched a plan to rob a man victim in Bellevue. However, things didn’t go as planed because the suspects were using drugs.
Willie Whitehead Jersey Retro

The girl said she saw Whitehead grab the robbery victim from behind and choke him. She says she saw the victim on his stomach, bleeding.

The girl said the group left Green Bay for Milwaukee with the things they got from the robbery.

Charges were filed in the case on March 23, 2017. During Friday’s initial appearance, the court ordered Whitehead be held on a $25,000 bond.

Frank Corral Jersey Retro

MINNEAPOLIS — Forgive Minnesota Vikings fans if they are a little squeamish when it comes to their kickers.

You can thank Gary Anderson, Blair Walsh and Daniel Carlson for that.

So when the Vikings added Kaare Vedvik from the Baltimore Ravens after the first NFL preseason game with no clear plan whether to use him as a placekicker or a punter, angst could be felt building up among the fan base.

While it’s always a team’s job to evaluate personnel during the preseason, usually the kicking game is a settled matter by Week 3 of the preseason. And it’s always decided that your kicker won’t be handling the punting duties as well.

But the Vikings don’t appear to be in a hurry to finalize their special teams. They even have floated the idea of using Vedvik for both jobs, something seemingly not done in the NFL on a semi-regular basis since Frank Corral of the Los Angeles Rams did it in 1981.

Vedvik was out at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday battling Dan Bailey for the placekicking job and Matt Wile at punter in the Vikings’ unconvincing 20-9 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The Norwegian Vedvik, who punted three times in his first preseason game as a Viking against Seattle, booted his kickoffs into the end zone and made both extra points but sent a 43-yard field-goal attempt wide left near the end of the first half and then sailed a 54-yarder wide right in the fourth quarter.

That didn’t win him any kjaerlighet from the Vikings’ coaching staff.

Wile handled all the punting duties, averaging 47.3 yards on six attempts. That topped his 45.2-yard average in 2018.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was perplexed when asked afterward if he had an answer for the kicking situation.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile has been punting good and Bailey has been kicking good, and then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals. I’m at a loss on that.”

Bailey, who made 21 of 28 field goals a year ago and at one time was the NFL’s most accurate kicker of all time, has yet to cement a spot on the team. But if anyone could raise his stock without playing, Bailey may have done that Saturday.

When asked where his level of concern was with Vedvik, Zimmer replied: “High.”

The Vikings even went for two after Mike Boone’s go-ahead touchdown run with 8:20 to play, a disputed Kyle Sloter-to-Olabisi Johnson incompletion. They then pulled out a bootleg for a touchdown on fourth-and-2 in the final minute. They may not have tried either if the coaches were enamored with the kickers.

Clearly the hope is the kicking game will be secondary to an offense clicking on all cylinders. If you are scoring touchdowns whenever you are in the red zone, the kicking game receives less scrutiny.

But other than Dalvin Cook’s surprise appearance and subsequent 85-yard touchdown run (longest in Vikings preseason history), Minnesota’s first-team offense was stagnant against one of the league’s worst teams. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was out of sync with his receivers during the only half he played. The second-year Vikings starter completed 3 of 13 passes for 35 yards, statistics not worthy of a signal-caller making $28 million a season.

When Cousins isn’t accurate, there’s little Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs or Kyle Rudolph can do to change around a game.

Luckily, Minnesota has an elite defense — even one without safety Harrison Smith or tackle Linval Joseph, who sat out Saturday. The Vikings bottled up dynamic Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray for the most part, allowing the Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 draft pick to throw for just 137 yards and keep him in single-digit rushing yards.

The Cardinals did make all three of their field-goal tries, their only accomplishment on the day.

While a strong defense is central to winning championships, Super Bowls can be won or lost on the leg of a kicker. Just ask Adam Vinatieri. Or Scott Norwood.

Vikings fans don’t need to be reminded of how kickers can screw up a season.
Frank Corral Jersey Retro

Anderson’s missed field goal in the 1998 NFC championship game allowed Atlanta a backdoor entry into the Super Bowl; Walsh’s sub-zero shank in the 2015 playoffs ended the season prematurely; and Carlson’s three misses last season ensured a tie game against the Green Bay Packers, a gaffe that brought Bailey into the picture.

With just one remaining preseason game, the drama will end soon. At least until more kicking woes rear their ugly head during the regular season.

Sam Martin Jersey Retro

The Detroit Lions (3-9-1) left Minnesota with a loss in Week 14 but strong efforts from defensive tackle Mike Daniels and punter Sam Martin earned them recognition from Pro Football Focus, as they both earned a spot on their Team of the Week.

With a pre-game injury to Da’Shawn Hand and an in-game injury to A’Shawn Robinson, the Lions needed Daniels to step up his game and he did just that — playing on 53 snaps (73-percent) and receiving an 86.2 overall grade from PFF.

“It’s a shame that Daniels has battled injuries all season because the Lions could have used another difference-maker along their defensive line,” PFF said. “Daniels registered six stops in the run game against the Vikings this past week and added three hurries to boot.”
Sam Martin Jersey Retro

This is the Daniels Lions’ fans have been waiting to see since he signed a 1-year deal worth almost $8 million in training camp.

In addition to Daniels, Martin earned his first PFF TOTW honors, but he is the Lions third special teams players to be recognized, including Matt Prater in Week 1 and Jalen Reeves-Maybin in Week 4.

On the season, Daniels joins several other Lions who have earned a spot on PFF’s team of the week, including:

Matt Prater in Week 1
Frank Ragnow in Week 2
Graham Glasgow in Weeks 2 and 4
Marvin Jones in Week 3
Jamal Agnew in Week 3
Jalen Reeves-Maybin (for special teams) in week 4
Jarrad Davis in Week 11
Taylor Decker in Week 9, then Week 10, and again in Week 12