Kai Forbath can exorcise Vikings' playoff demons against former team

From ESPN - January 14, 2018

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Pressure? Of course theres pressure. This is the playoffs, after all.

As the Minnesota Vikings aim for their first postseason victory since the 2009 season when they host the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round, Kai Forbath made it a point to remain as steady throughout the week as he is when he lines up to kick. Mitigating the outside noise, pressure and expectations hell feel Sunday was a crucial part of his own playoff prep.

I view it as a normal game for us, focus the same, Forbath said. You cant try to put extra pressure on it. Thats when bad things happen.

Forbath knows the history, the thing no Vikings fan wants to bring up. Two promising postseason runs that came to an end in heartbreaking fashion: Gary Anderson's only miss of the 1998 season -- after he became the first NFL kicker to notch a perfect regular season -- that cost the Vikings the NFC championship; and Blair Walsh's hooked 27-yard try in the final seconds of the 2015 wild-card game. Career-defining, wide-left infamy Forbath hopes to stay far, far away from.

The Vikings kicker has a chance to exorcise Minnesotas playoff demons Sunday, and to do it against the team that cut him ahead of Week 1 of the 2016 season (after he had won the job in training camp) when it decided to go with rookie Wil Lutz. That storyline, however, is one Forbath is choosing to ignore.

You cant think like that, the 30-year-old said. I focus the same for every kick no matter what it is, situation, if were winning or losing, or whatnot. Just trying to help score points when I can.


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