StaTuesday: The sudden and swift decline of Vikings kicker Walsh
The months since his missed field goal ended the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff run have been less than kind to Blair Walsh.
Google’s third suggestion when searching the struggling kicker is "memes," followed by "missed field goal."
Once a promising young All-Pro who set records as a rookie, making 10 field goals from 50-plus yards during his first season, Walsh’s decline has been sudden and swift.
He now ranks 25th among 32 qualifying kickers in field-goal percentage this season, and ranks 29th in extra-point percentage.
His struggles continued Sunday against the Detroit Lions, and are becoming a grim reality for the Vikings rather than an internet punchline.
Walsh’s 46-yard field goal attempt was batted aside at the line, while an extra point that would have tied the game in the third quarter hit the goalpost.
— Robbie Gould is 1 for 1 after signing with the New York Giants on Oct. 22. He has played in just two games so far, and is 4 for 4 on extra points.
— Cleveland Browns kicker Patrick Murray was 1 for 2 on field goals and 3 for 4 on extra points through two games before being placed on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Despite his recent struggles Walsh remains one of the most accurate kickers in franchise history, underscoring the Vikings’ previous willingness to stand by the embattled kicker despite his recent struggles.
Walsh ranks third on the Vikings’ all-time list for attempted field goals, and third in field-goal percentage (note: the distance of extra points was changed during the 2015 season).
Walsh perhaps set unrealistic expectations after his rookie season — incredibly connecting on all 10 of his field-goal attempt from 50 yards or longer. Back indoors this year, it was thought Walsh might revert back to his Metrodome form, but he is clearly no longer Mr. Automatic.