Kicker Blair Walsh faced the music a little bit ago after missing what could have been a game-winning field goal from 27 yards out with 26 seconds left in today’s stunning 10-9 loss to the Seahawks at TCF Bank Stadium.
“It was so quick. I don’t know what happened,” Walsh said 15 minutes after the kick, as reporters lined up four deep to listen to his comments.
Walsh took ownership of the missed kick, saying that the snap by long snapper Kevin McDermott and the hold by punter Jeff Locke were fine.
“It’s my fault. I don’t care if you give me a watermelon hold, I should be able to put that through,” Walsh said. “Jeff did his job and Kevin did his job. I’m the only one who didn’t do my job. That’s on me.”
Walsh made his first three field-goal attempts in sub-zero temperatures, which make it even more difficult to kick the ball through the uprights. But he missed the kick that matters most and now the season is over.
“I just didn’t put a swing on it that would be acceptable to anybody’s standards,” Walsh said. “I worked real hard to get myself to a place where I was very, very consistent for this team all year. In that moment, the moment they needed me the most, I wasn’t. That stings. I will be working hard to erase that from my career but it will take a while.”
After a shaky preseason, Walsh rebounded to have a solid season. He made 34 of his 39 field-goal attempts during the regular season. That included a game-winning field goal as time expired in a win over the Bears in October and another game-winner in overtime against the Rams the next week.
“I know I’m one of the better kickers in the league,” he said. “I know that sounds kind of crazy right now. But my record says that. But the one they needed the most today I didn’t make. These guys deserved to win. … Those guys played their hearts out. They were the people who fought today.”
Coach Mike Zimmer, meanwhile, sounded like a guy who was pretty miffed that his team’s season ended with a short missed field goal.
“I thought the snap was a little high, but it’s a chip shot. He’s got to make it,” said Zimmer, who did not speak with Walsh directly after the game.