The field goal had been made and the fumble call was reversed.
No, you didn’t dream of an alternate universe during the Vikings’ late-night start Thursday in Seattle. Near the end of the first half, Blair Walsh was presented with a preseason twist of fate more than eight months after his fateful playoff miss.
An Adam Thielen grab set up a 27-yard field goal attempt, the exact distance from which Walsh missed in January to cement the Vikings’ first-round exit. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
“We knew it right away,” Walsh said. “Because you could hear it announced [at CenturyLink Field.] It’s just part of it. We’re not thinking about it once we kicked it, but we knew going into it.”
Walsh made good from the punchline distance.
He could exhale, for two quarters at least. Under three minutes left with the game tied at 11, tight end Kyle Carter caught a pass in Seahawks territory. In another sense of deja vu, Carter put the ball on the ground. A Seattle-recovered fumble was initially ruled a Vikings turnover.
Then, again, fate turned differently when the stakes were at rock bottom. Upon further review, Carter was ruled down by contact and the Vikings retained possession at the Seahawks’ 29-yard line.
Walsh lined up for a 47-yard, potentially game-winning field goal.
“Thought I hit it well,” Walsh said. “It just didn’t stay straight enough as I wanted it to. I gotta work on that and it’s something I need to get better at and I know I will.
“I’ll get better, I’ll learn from it. It’s the preseason.”
Walsh, who has converted 85 percent of his meaningful field goal attempts, found solace in the meaningless final score. The Vikings ended up winning, anyway, off an interception returned for a touchdown by Marcus Sherels to boost their preseason record to 10-1 under head coach Mike Zimmer.
Don’t count Zimmer among those who might assume the moment was too much for the fifth-year kicker.
“I think it was just a miss,” Zimmer said. “I think he hit a 27-yarder earlier, right?”