I mentioned several times in the days leading up to last week’s Vikings-Bears game in Chicago that weird things tend to happen at Soldier Field. We won’t go through all the examples right now, but there are several that come to mind immediately. And now there’s another one to add to the list – Ryan Longwell’s missed FG in the 2nd quarter of last week’s game.
The wind was whipping at Soldier Field last Sunday but Longwell appeared to have the conditions under control. He nailed 36-yard try in the 1st quarter and he was solid during warmups. As he lined up a 39-yard attempt with 12:14 to play in the 2nd quarter and the Vikings winning 3-0, the wind was still whipping and Longwell apparently was prepared to compensate for it. The trouble was, the wind changed its behavior at the last second and Longwell’s attempt went directly at the left upright and bounded away.
“That’s where he was aiming it,” Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy said at his press conference on Thursday. “There was a gust going across the field and just as he goes to approach, the wind dies down and the [kick] stayed true right to where he hit it. If that wind continues on the way it was, that thing would’ve been good. Unfortunate moment in time right there.”
I offer this bit of information not to make an excuse for Longwell, but to illustrate the preparation and thought that goes into the kicking aspect of the game. Murphy and the Vikings specialists are on the field before anyone else – especially when playing on the road and in an outdoor venue – because they need to test the field and weather conditions to try and figure out what adjustments need to be made.
Tags: Ryan Longwell
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 18 Comments »