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Forbath, Sherels Spark Special Teams in Vikings Victory

MINNEAPOLIS —Kai Forbath's right leg provided a boost for the Vikings on Sunday afternoon.

So did Marcus Sherels' effort with both of his legs.

Forbath and Sherels combined to spark Minnesota to a 24-16 win over the Ravens as the duo led the way on special teams, which was an emphasis for the Vikings this week.

"I challenged our special teams all week long on playing great," said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. "I thought Marcus Sherels played great … all the special teams did.

"Kai Forbath did a nice job," Zimmer added.

Forbath had a historic day, as he booted a career-high six field goals, including a pair of kicks from 50-plus yards. His previous career high was four field goals in a game. 

His six makes tied a mark for the second-most field goals in a game in Vikings history. Gary Anderson also made six kicks in a game in 1998, also against Baltimore. Rich Karlis holds the franchise record with seven field goals, a mark he set in 1998.

Forbath began his busy afternoon with a 52-yard make in the first quarter, and followed with successful kicks from 51 yards and 43 yards in the second stanza.

He added another 43-yard try in the third quarter before finishing with a 34-yarder early in the fourth quarter and a 32-yard kick late in the final period. 

While Forbath's field goals were closer as the day went on, he said he immediately took care of himself after the game.

"I got in the cold tub, yeah," Forbath said with a smile.

"I took it one kick at a time," Forbath added. "I had opportunities today, and I took advantage of them."

Forbath hit a 54-yarder last week against Green Bay, and noted there was some carryover from the Week 6 win.

"Absolutely," Forbath said. "Every time you make one, you get a little more confidence.

"I felt good going into today, and I am going to carry it over into next week," Forbath added. 

Forbath has made 17 of 18 field goals on the season.

He noted that while he received a lot of work Sunday, it was a team effort for the win.

"Every time we are in scoring position, I am just kicking," Forbath said. "Luckily, our punt returner also helped us get into position. I was staying busy."

That's where Sherels came in, as the top punt returner in Vikings history had a stellar day.

The Minnesota native had three returns for 83 yards, including returns of 46, 19 and 18 yards.

"The guys did a good job of blocking and giving me time to work, and we took advantage of that," Sherels said. "Any time they punt it deep, you have more time."

Sherels more than doubled his punt return total for the season, as he had tallied 75 yards in six games before his strong performance on Sunday. He also had a 20-yard kickoff return.

The Vikings netted 10 points on Sherels' trio of punt returns, and he helped flip the field position numerous times against Baltimore, which is known as one of the best special teams units in the NFL.

Sherels and the 5-2 Vikings will now look for another strong special teams effort as they play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in London at Twickenham Stadium.

"We're just taking it one game at a time," Sherels said. "We've got a big game in London next week and will get ready for that.

"They were talking about it all week that special teams had to show up big," Sherels later added. "I thought we did that part today."

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