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Blair Walsh: Master Craftsman

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Our close, personal friend (™ Sid Hartman) Marshall Faulk is back with his weekly question for us, brought to you by the folks from GMC. Here's what we have for this week.

Let’s get professional: Great craftsmanship can come from a beautiful drive, a well-executed blitz, or even a high-arcing punt that pins a team down on the one. GMC takes great pride in the craftsmanship of its vehicles. At the quarter mark of the season, what has been the most well-crafted aspect of your team so far?

Well, with the way things have gone thus far for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, there aren't a whole lot of areas that we can really pinpoint and say "Wow, that's really working out well." More specifically, there's one player on this roster that has definitively set himself apart as a master of his craft.

That player is kicker Blair Walsh.

Walsh's prowess comes in two different phases of the game. When it comes to the first one, that being on kickoffs, Walsh truly has no peers. In the first three games of the season, the Minnesota Vikings have kicked off to their opponents thirteen times. On twelve of those occasions, the opponent has had to start at the 20-yard line after a touchback. His 92.3% touchback rate leads the NFL. And the one that was returned? Chris Givens of the St. Louis Rams returned a Walsh kickoff 26 yards. . .to the 17-yard line. So, on all of Walsh's kickoffs this season, the opponent has started at the 20-yard line or worse, which is a huge advantage for the Vikings.

Walsh has also proven himself to be at the top of the league in terms of converting field goals as well. With his 5-for-6 performance so far in 2014, he has converted 66-of-74 field goal attempts over the course of his career, an 89.2% clip. I can't imagine that too many other kickers, if any, have a better percentage over that time frame. When it comes to National Football League kickers, Blair Walsh is about as close to automatic as it gets. That is a testament to the time and work he's put in since being drafted by the Vikings in 2012.

When it comes to perfecting one's craft, there might not be anybody on the Minnesota Vikings' roster that exhibits those qualities better than Blair Walsh does. In what has been a crazy season already for the purple and gold, he's the one thing that the team has really been able to depend on thus far.

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