For Walsh, it's business as unusual

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 31, 2012 - 7:32 AM

His 3-for-3 day with a game-winner seems special, but it's pretty much in keeping with his entire rookie season.

Vikings kicker Blair Walsh had just kicked a last-second, playoff-clinching field goal to beat the Packers when he was asked if the season he's having is beyond his "wildest imagination."

The unflappable rookie was about to respond when fellow first-year player Matt Kalil intercepted the question with the most logical of answers.

"Duh," Kalil said. "No question."

Walsh's record-breaking regular season concluded with him going 3-for-3. He hit from 54 yards, 37 yards and from 29 as time expired in a 37-34 victory at Mall of America Field on Sunday. Now, he'll take his Pro Bowl season to Lambeau Field for the rematch in Saturday night's NFC wild-card game.

"I don't know how he does it," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "He makes it look so easy. But even that 29-yarder at the end, I would have shanked that thing into the fifth row."

Walsh finished the season with more records than anyone could have imagined when the sixth-round draft pick replaced veteran Ryan Longwell shortly after the draft.

"I learned a long time ago not to predict what a kicker will do," Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer said. "But people ask, did I think he would have this type of year? And I think, no one has ever had this type of year. So the answer is probably not."

While Priefer talked about the "ice water" in Walsh's veins, Walsh talked about Packers coach Mike McCarthy trying to ice him by calling a timeout right before Walsh attempted his 29-yarder.

"I heard [the whistle] and I knew it didn't count, but I went ahead and kicked it anyway," Walsh said. "They can ice me all they want as far as I'm concerned. I don't care. It's 29 yards. You got to make that no matter what."

Walsh was preparing for a 55-yarder when Adrian Peterson broke off a 26-yard run with less than 24 seconds left.

"At that point, it's, 'Just go out there and hit it,' " Walsh said. "You don't think about any emotions or anything like that. Don't make it more complicated than it is."

Since the season opener against Jacksonville -- when Walsh closed regulation with a 55-yard game-tying field goal and won the game with a 38-yarder in OT -- teammates, fans and even well-known alumni have just assumed that Walsh will make whatever kick he lines up for.

"When they released Longwell, I didn't know what to think," Vikings Hall of Famer Carl Eller said in the winning locker room. "I just thought they were going to go get another kicker. I didn't think they were going to bring in a superstar. And that's what this kid is. To be this consistent and have the range that he has, I think he's bringing a whole new level to the kicker position in the NFL."

AMAZING FOOTWORK

Among the NFL records set by Blair Walsh this season:

• Best percentage by an NFL rookie: 92.1, 35 of 38.

• Most 50-yard field goals by an NFL player: 10. He went 10-for-10. The record was eight.

• Most field goals by an NFL rookie: 35. That also ties the team record set by Gary Anderson in 1998 when he didn't miss until ... well, you know when he missed.

• Points by a Vikings rookie: 141. That's also the second-most by a rookie in NFL history, behind former Bears kicker Kevin Butler (144).

• Most kickoff touchbacks in team history: 53. His 61.6 percentage on kickoff touchbacks also set a rookie NFL record.

  • related content

  • Blair Walsh

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Thursday in Green Bay?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close