Dear Blair Walsh,
It’s not your fault that the Vikings were unable to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in last Sunday’s NFC first round playoff game. You may have missed a 27 yard field goal that would have put Minnesota ahead with 22 seconds left in regulation, but that is not why your team lost.
There were many things that you and the rest of the Vikings did well last Sunday. However, the final score of the game was the result of a multitude of different instances and not just one single play.
Unlike the 1998 or 2009 NFC Championship games, you were the only member of the Vikings to put any points on the scoreboard (9) last Sunday. Therefore, you should be one of the last players to take the blame for the loss to the Seahawks.
If your teammate Adrian Peterson did not fumble the ball for the third time in his last three playoff games, the end of the game may have turned out differently. Perhaps you would have been able to attempt a less pressure-filled field goal if Peterson did not put the ball on the turf.
Maybe if one of the NFL’s best kick returners in your teammate Cordarrelle Patterson could have averaged higher than 22 yards per return against the Seahawks, the results could have turned out differently. You probably remember, but Patterson returned a kick for a touchdown against Seattle earlier this season so a better kick returning performance last Sunday should not have been too much to ask for.
Even your buddy, and current Vikings punter, Jeff Locke could have done more to help against Seattle. If Locke had more than just one of his five punts land inside the Seahawks’ own 20 yard line, it might have in turn given your offense a shorter field to work with and better opportunities to score more points.
There is no way that you can account for your teammates having to miss plays due to an injury. If cornerbacks Terence Newman and Trae Waynes were not injured during the game, reserve cornerback Josh Robinson would not have had to come in and eventually allow the Seahawks to score their only touchdown of the game.
What if your teammates on the offensive line had not given up three sacks to Seattle in the final 16 minutes of the game? They protected well in the first 40 minutes of the game, but they were unable to produce when your team needed them the most.
Lastly, any person who has sent you death threats over the internet is obviously not bright enough to understand that football games do not come down to just one play. Maybe if Twitter and Facebook actually cared about the quality of their product, they would not allow these kinds of people to continue using their service.
Minnesota’s football team seems to be heading in a good direction, which means you should have plenty more opportunities to help people forget about your most recent kick. Keep your head up Blair and just know that the majority of Vikings fans (the smart ones at least) do not blame you for the loss against the Seahawks.
P.S. – You won our Player of the Game for that day, so that has to mean something right?