If you look at the stat sheet alone, the past couple of seasons haven’t been that bad for Minnesota Vikings’ kicker Blair Walsh. Since Week 1 of the 2015 season, he has connected on 42-of-50 field goal attempts for an 84% conversion rate. His career field goal percentage is also right around that 84% mark.
However, over the last two seasons, things haven’t been quite right with #3 in purple. So far this season, he’s hit on 8-of-11 field goal attempts and 6-of-8 extra points, but it always seems to be an adventure when he takes the field. It doesn’t have anything to do with distance. . .extra points are 33 yards, and his three field goal misses have come from 37, 46, and 56 yards, and he’s connected from 50 this season.
Whatever the reason is, it doesn’t appear that the Vikings are ready to hit the eject button on Walsh yet, as Mike Zimmer said during his press conference yesterday that the team has no plans to bring in any competition at the kicker position. Not yet, anyway.
Q: Is Blair Walsh putting in extra hours?
A: I guess so, I don’t know. I have no idea.
Q: Will you talk to him this week?
A: No. I don’t talk to Eric Kendricks when he makes a bad play. We correct it and move on. That’s what we do here.
Q: Are you bringing in any kickers to try out?
A: No, not yet.
I know that Vikings nation is down on Blair Walsh right now, and I’m not exactly sure what his issues can be chalked up to. But the fact is that the kicker position is one of the most mercurial positions in sports. Walsh isn’t the first kicker that’s gone through this sort of stretch, and he’s not going to be the last one.
Frankly, unless you’re bringing Stephen Gostkowski or Adam Vinatieri in to handle your kicking duties. . .and their teams aren’t going to be letting them go anywhere. . .you can never be really sure of what you’re getting at the position. I know that the name of former Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould has been on the lips of a lot of Vikings’ fans. . .including mine, after Walsh’s miss on Monday night. But the Bears cut Gould over a month ago, and he’s still floating around out there in free agency. The Vikings aren’t the only team in need of kicking help, but no other team has brought Gould in at this point, either.
Apparently the Vikings feel that whatever’s wrong with Blair Walsh is something they can fix. Hopefully they can fix the issue (or issues) before a Walsh miss comes at a time where the Vikings can’t overcome it.