Dear Blair Walsh, It’s Not Your Fault

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.


Adam Patrick

P.S. – You won our Player of the Game for that day, so that has to mean something right?

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Adam Patrick

Adam has been rooting for the Vikings ever since he saw Randall Cunningham win NFC Special Teams Player of the week in 1997. Since his career sports highlights include 3rd place at 5th Grade Golf Camp and catching a ball during a soccer game (he was not playing goalie), Adam turned to writing. He considers himself a 'Vikings Realist' as he does not shy away from criticizing the purple and gold if necessary. He will not always write about the popular topics, but his goal is to provide readers with content they cannot find anywhere else. Follow him on Twitter @Str8_Cash_Homey

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  1. Ludicrous analysis-conjecture and hindsight may help pad one’s word count, but have no objective value. Everything cited here van be considered potential contributing factors, but only one person’s failure is singular-Blair Walsh had the unrestricted opportunity to take his team on his back and single-handedly all but assure victory by simply doing his job at that specific moment. No woulda shoulda coulda, no ‘well if the other guy had done this then maybe’-if THAT guy does his job the victory is all but assured. For that reason, your analysis might as well include a last minute intervention by Iron Man-it’s subjective and meaningless…

  2. Unmmmm….yeah it’s his fault!!! He gets paid very well to do 2 things…kickoff and make field goals…chip shot field goals at that!!! 27 yards is shorter than an extra point…HE CHOKED plan and simple…so yeah it’s his fault!!!!

  3. My view on this.

    No blair it’s not all your fault. But you share in the blame. Teams that want to win sbs need to convert plays that happen at a 99.5 percent success rate. Blair led the league in missed xp also, and as you point out its not because our offense is so good he’s kicking more than everyone else. His short kick game needs work, and I fully expect him to fix that issue in the offseason if he’s to remain a viking. 189 out of 191 of those kicks were made this season. To say the defense coulda done better is crazy also. They played a hell of a game. You blame them not containing russel 1 drive? Yes we could have scored tds. Yes ap could for the love of god stop fumbling. But people also have to realize that yes, blair 100 percent should have made that kick, and he shares in responsibility for that game.

  4. “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.”

    I agree with you on the fact that the death threats is stupid but your 2nd statement about football games do not come down to just one play is misstated…there are many plays that make up a football game but when a kicker misses a game winning FG from that close when that’s what he gets paid to do…it’s his Fault…that’s how teams are defined ask the Buffalo Bills…or better yet ask Adam Vinatieri how has won many games on last second field goals!!! HE CHOKED

    1. Yes he should of made the kick that is his job but that was not a guaranteed game winner, highly likely yes, but not 100%

      Did you all not see Aaron Rodgers and his two hail marys (and his 4 and 20 conversion) or Russell Wilson nearly pulling off the comeback yesterday.

      They could have gotten two long completions or even a long pass with DEF PI (which could happen with Rhodes and or Munnerlyn and their aggressive play. Yes could have we will never no…but he could have made the FG and then the Vikings ST and or DEF could have found some “Vikings Way” to loose.

      Things like this can and do happen–such is life

      Purp4life what is with all the exclamation points???

      (Edited: jwdalle, thanks for commenting on VT. Please refrain from personal insults as it does nothing to help your argument. Thanks.)

      1. Your remote hypotheticals are more ridiculous than the original article. No one here has said anything about 100% guarantees-the issue is the simple fact that an NFL kicker is paid to put 100% of his attempts through the uprights. Walsh himself said that every kick that comes off his foot should go in-period. Out of 191 field goal attempts of 28 TDs or less during the 2015-2016 NFL season, 189 were successful. Based on the data, the odds were astronomically in favor of a professional place kicker making that kick. On the other hand, the odds of your ludicrous comeback scenario happening are roughly the same as being simultaneously struck by lightning and mauled by a bear while winning the Powerball. Walsh had a 100% opportunity to make that kick-had he done that, the Seahawks had virtually no chance of coming back in 22 seconds and winning it…

        1. 1980 – Vikes vs. Cleveland Browns – Minnesota at their own 20 with 14 seconds left – scores touchdown, wins game, wins division. Just saying it is a much better chance than winning the lottery while being struck by lightning, since I am pretty sure that literally has never happened.

          But yes, Blair Walsh’s miss very likely cost the Vikings a win, and he is fully aware of that fact. What else is there to say?

          1. You make my point for me-that play was 35 years ago. How many times has that lightning-strike comeback actually occurred during that span? The chances that Seattle comes back and scores to win in the made field goal scenario are sub-decimal…

              1. Far, far less than 1%-there have only been 10 such plays in NFL history (since 1975-when the term “Hail Mary” was born, ironically against our Vikes). There’s no stat available on how many Hail Marys have been thrown in 40 years, but undoubtedly hundreds if not into the thousands. For only 10 out of that number to be completed in 40 years, the odds of Russell Wilson pulling off what Tommy Kramer did in 1980 are, again, far less than 1%

                1. 191 tries, only 2 misses this year. I saw GB get two miracles this season, seems like there was another as well, don’t think there were anywhere near 191 tries.

                  1. The stat has been widely quoted on NFL Network, ESPN, NBC and Fox Sports-deny reality if you want to, but field goals of 28 yds or less were attempted 191 times with only 2 missed. So, should we all believe Stephen A. Smith, Marshall Faulk, and 8 or 10 other major pundits, or you?

                    1. So, your reply to the statistical fact that 98.95% of all the field goals attempted from 28 yds out or closer this year were made, while there have only been 10 game-winning hail marys in 40 years of NFL games is to cite the completely unrelated “observation” that there”weren’t 191 hail mary type plays this season”? Ooo-kay-thanks for sharing…

                    2. Dude….this season there were mot 191 hail mary attempts. Probably closer to 50…there were at least 2 hail mary’s that were converted.
                      Point is, it seems there is a greater chance of converting a hail mary, than there is of missing a 27 yard FG.
                      Understand? Not a big deal. However you want to spin it they are close to the same probability….it seems to me. I could be wrong.

                    3. Dude, put on your Walmart readers and sound out the words-no one said ANYTHING about Hail Mary attempts. The post referred to FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS. You’re the one who compared apples to oranges by inexplicably bringing the Rogers plays into it (of which, by the way, only one was a game winner). No one said a bloody word about there being 191 Hail Mary attempts-have no idea where you got that from…

                    4. The point was (cue the subtitles, somebody) that the odds of making a 28 yard field goal are SIGNIFICANTLY better that the odds of the Seahawks coming back with 22 seconds left on the clock and winning on a Hail Mary. Should we repeat this with illustrations?

                    5. Actually, a true hail mary to the end zone to win was not needed, as all Seattle would have needed was a field goal. Just a nugget of info, no interest in lighting a fuse or anything.

                      Seems like the bottom line is that there is significant statistical likelihood against either a missed 27 yard field goal or a successful march to a game winning field goal with 20+ seconds remaining. But both could have happened, and one did. Of course, we could also do the statistical likelihood of a snap sailing over a QB’s heading leading to a 30 yard pass play. Similar odds I would guess. Unfortunately, the odds of Peterson fumbling are much higher.

                    6. …and Russell Wilson may have suffered cardiac arrest, collapsed as the ball was snapped, and turned the ball over. The original point being made here is that, all conjecture aside (and there’s plenty of it), the highest percentage scenario as far as winning the game was Walsh hitting the 28 yarder-period. All the musing about the 10,000 subjective permutations of fumbles, pursuit angles, ill-timed injuries, and alien abductions REALLY being the thing that cost them the game are neither here nor there-Walsh does his job, they win…

  5. Is this an article from “The Onion”? It’s not 100% on Walsh but atleast 99%. There is no excuse so stop trying to make one.

  6. and if he had made it, he would’ve been hailed as the hero. we had others who were at fault or could’ve made a play and could’ve helped us win, too. it’s shared, but walsh deserves some blame just as much as he would deserve some credit had he made it. ya gotta make him feel his responsibility, but also support him, as we will need him in another situation like this again. it looks like he’s getting the proper balance from zimmer and the team

    1. And rightfully so-had he made it, he WOULD have been the undisputed hero of the game. However, he failed to do what he is so handsomely paid to do in spite of the fact that, during the season, 98.95% of the kicks attempted from that distance were successful. The entire point is that conjecture is utterly meaningless here-what would or would not have happened is completely irrelevant. He missed the extremely high percentage kick he was tasked with making, and the team lost the game-period.

  7. I’d like to remind people commenting on this article that there is a strict no tolerance policy at VT when it comes to personal insults. We obviously encourage debate and discussion but attacks on individuals will be deleted.

    Thank you!

            1. no. i really think it was taken at The Magic Castle in LA. that’s the way they take all their pictures there

  8. I’m not sure I would call him a hero for making a 27 yard FG. It would’ve been great and all, but a hero? No. Had it been 47? Yeah. Don’t think 27 yards is hero status.
    He does have blame, that’s indisputable. AD’s fumble is another big mistake that helped lose the game. There were a few others, but I would put those two mistakes at the top.

    1. Probably not so much for that kick, cart, as for how he had performed up to that play. It was more than noteworthy how effective he was kicking that day. Those 2 long field goals in those conditions were clutch, and to be kicking touchbacks was also impressive. But so much good undone in one swing of the foot.

    2. cc, it was his whole day that would’ve garnered him hero status. the other big mistakes were the fumble, of course, the missed INT, and captain’s lack of sacking wilson on the passed snap

      1. Yeah, hero for sure, Cal.
        Sendejo’s int was a diving attempt. Can’t always catch those. Captain definitely took the wrong angle….maybe that was a big mistake.
        Bigger mistake is to not make ball security most important, and missing a chip shot. Just my thoughts on that. They all contributed to the loss.

  9. You covered some of the failures on the team which resulted in a loss, but not all of them.

    Yes, Peterson fumbled after he already had the first down and just needed to maintain possession and keep the clock running. You missed

    1) Peterson running for 45 yards on 23 carries. It is difficult to win a game when a player consumes 23 snaps and averages less than 2 yards per carry.

    2) On the play before the missed field goal, the Peterson run was designed to go to the right, but Peterson cut it back to the left in a vane (and I mean that in more ways than one) attempt to pick up an unneeded first down. Walsh prefers to kick from the right hash, not the left, so Peterson’s ego made Walsh have to attempt a more difficult kick.

    Any time a single player fails in three different aspects of the game, it should be clear that he bears the primary responsibility for the loss.

    1. There would have been some value in that first down, Mike, as it would have allowed us to run the clock down to zero, and perhaps run once more for a possible touchdown. Not saying it was a good move on his part, but the first down would have been nice, and at that distance, the location of the ball really shouldn’t matter. I certainly agree on your point of the yards on 23 carries… seems like we were pretty stubborn over the course of the game, and could have had some possessions where maybe it would have been OK if he hadn’t gotten the ball at all. Our offense became far too predictable.

  10. I’ve been following this team for over forty years, where’s my first grader sympathy cards! I need ’em worse

  11. Anyone else find yourself shaking your head, while watching these games last weekend, when a kicker nails one right down the middle….don’t think I saw a miss.

    1. Yup, thought the same thing cart. Been waiting for someone else to feel our pain, but nothing so far…, and really, I don’t wish that on anyone other than the Packers… or Patriots…. probably the Seahawks… and yeah, the Steelers too.

  12. Seattle is good at stopping the run. But wonder how much that had to do with Ellison being out. He had a big hand in our running success this year. Not an excuse, just saying.

  13. Is this thread the place to externalize our personal trauma? Reading through these postings is like committing suicide ….. twice.

    It’s disturbing to read posts of supposed Viking fans chirping at each other.

    Our favorite team lost. Move forward or live in misery. Your choice.

  14. Hard for Peterson to get any yards when 75% of the time the defenders met him at the hand off. Our O-line did not have a good day in run blocking. Fumble was definitely his fault and a back breaker though.