Did Blair Walsh Set The Bar Too High?
By Adam Carlson
Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) walks off the field following the game against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Nobody expected Kicker Blair Walsh to have the kind of season that he did when he was drafted to replace Ryan Longwell. In fact, most experts expected him to struggle after the inconsistency he had shown at the University of Georgia. To put things in perspective, here is a short list of some of his accomplishments during his rookie season:
Jun 11, 2013; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Jeff Locke (12) holds as kicker Blair Walsh (3) kicks during field goal drills at the Minnesota Vikings Minicamp at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
- Elected to the NFL Pro Bowl
- Named to the All-Pro Team 1st Team (Only rookie)
- Won Pro Football Weekly’s Golden Toe Award
- NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November
- Franchise record for most points by a rookie (141)
- Did not miss any extra points (36/36)
- Tied Vikings record for longest field goal (56 yards)
- Tied NFL record for most field goals made by a rookie kicker (35)
- Did not miss any field goals that were 50 yards or longer (10/10)
- NFL record for most field goals of 50 yards or more in a season (10)
- NFL rookie record 92.1% made of all field goal attempts.
While this list isn’t complete by any means, it shows how special the season was for Blair Walsh. Now, the pressure is on him to repeat this amazing performance. While that expectation is unfair, most fans have come to expect his accuracy and kick power in the short time the Vikings have had Walsh as their kicker.
Was last season a fluke? Is Blair Walsh really this good of a kicker? Those questions will be answered this year when we see more from Mr. Walsh as he hopefully continues kicking his way into history books.