Blair Walsh Explains How to Improve PATs


Dec 8, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) walks onto the field prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kluwe isn’t the only one who knows how to write an essay. Blair Walsh can do it too. And without all that nasty swearing.

Tuesday, Vikings kicker Walsh contributed a piece to, but don’t worry everyone, this piece is totally safe for work. There’s nothing at all controversial or upsetting in it.

Unless you consider extra points to be a very sensitive issue.

I guess they are a sensitive issue when you’re a kicker like Blair Walsh. The NFL is currently mulling various plans to alter the extra point rule, including a proposal to lengthen extra points to 42 yards, thereby encouraging teams to go for 2 more often.

Blair Walsh has a different idea.

Walsh is on-board with lengthening kicks, but he thinks 42 yards is too long.

“I think that instead of the 42-yard attempt that is being talked about, the PAT should be a 38-yard attempt,” Walsh argues. “Kickers, for the most part, are accurate inside of 40; however, there is enough of a track record of misses from the 30- to 39-yard range to make a 38-yard PAT somewhat exciting.

“Add in late-season weather, wind conditions and less room for error due to the increased distance the ball has to stay straight, and I think you have a viable solution without dramatically changing the most popular sport in America.”

Walsh’s obvious concern is that making the kick too long will put more pressure on kickers, who already have enough pressure on them as it is.

At the same time, Walsh doesn’t want the extra point eliminated, because that diminishes the role of kickers.

Walsh wants rules that are fan-friendly and kicker-friendly, I guess is how you can sum that up.

I personally would just leave well enough alone, but I guess if you have to add more difficulty to the extra point, thinking this will bring extra excitement to the game, then the Walsh proposal seems reasonable.

Making kickers boot it 42 yards just for a PAT seems excessive.

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