MISERY LOVES COMPANY
Blair Walsh isn’t the only Vikings kicker to miss a critical postseason kick (looking at you, Gary Anderson), and his certainly isn’t the most famous miss in NFL history (sorry, Scott Norwood). Other famous flubs for kickers come playoff time include:
Jan Stenerud, Kansas City, 1971
One of only three kickers in the Hall of Fame, the future Viking had the worst day of his career on Christmas 1971 in a AFC divisional playoff loss to Miami. Kicking in muddy conditions at home, Stenerud missed twice in regulation, the second a 31-yarder in the final minute, then had a 42-yard try blocked in the first overtime.
Doug Brien, N.Y. Jets, 2004
Two years after getting cut from the Vikings for missing two PATs in a game, Brien became the first kicker to miss two field goals in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter in a playoff game, in the divisional round vs. Pittsburgh. He hit the goal post on a 47-yarder, got another chance when Ben Roethlisberger threw a pick and then missed again from 43 yards to end regulation.
Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis, 2005
The Colts trailed the Steelers 21-3 in the divisional round before rallying in the fourth quarter, and they got the ball back after Jerome Bettis fumbled when Pittsburgh tried running out the clock. Indianapolis set up a 46-yard attempt for Vanderjagt, at that point the most accurate kicker in NFL history, but he missed wide right.
Billy Cundiff, Baltimore, 2011
Maybe the closest relative to Walsh on the missed-kick family tree. With his Ravens down 23-20 to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and 15 seconds left, Cundiff set up for a 32-yarder in cold weather at New England. Cundiff, 16-for-16 in the fourth quarter in 2010 and ’11, pulled the kick way left from the right hash, and New England earned a trip to the Super Bowl.