Walsh said he thought kick was good but should have driven it more. He made three earlier field goals but the decision to fake a FG at the end of first half proved just as costly.
In hindsight, Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh said he probably needed to put just a little more leg behind the 52-yard field-goal attempt that fell short just as time expired in the Seahawks’ 34-31 defeat to Atlanta on Monday Night Football.
“I needed to probably drive it more and I didn’t. I know it sounds simple, but that’s the only thing I could think of,” Walsh said. “I thought it was good. … I don’t know how much I missed by, but it’s tough. It’s tough when you’re not there for your team in a moment like that. But I keep working my tail off and commit to what I’m doing.
“I was happy with everything else I did in the game. It’s tough when that last play is what it comes down to. But that’s part of football.”
Watch | Blair Walsh discusses final missed field goal
Walsh went into the Atlanta game 14 of 18 on field goals this season. Three of those misses came in the Seahawks’ defeat to Washington two weeks ago, but Walsh bounced back nicely, hitting attempts of 33 and 43 yards in Seattle’s win at Arizona Nov. 9.
He started out strong against Atlanta too, making field goals of 30, 37 and 46 yards before he missed the potential tying kick.
Still, one could argue that Walsh’s end-of-regulation kick should have been a potential game-winner instead of one to tie things up.
At the end of the second quarter, on fourth-and-one from the Atlanta 17, Walsh lined up for what would have been a 35-yard attempt. But the Seahawks made a debatable decision to instead fake the field goal and have holder Jon Ryan fire off a pass to tight end Luke Willson.
Willson caught the pass but was tackled five yards shy of the first down, and that missed opportunity to clinch three points off that drive came back to haunt the Seahawks.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called the play in from the sideline, but Willson said it came because Seattle saw something in Atlanta’s field-goal coverage that it thought it could exploit.
“It was kind of a look we were waiting for – something they’d done all year,” Willson said. “I don’t know why, but for this game, they changed it up. From what they showed on film, it was a hundred-percentage. If they do what they do, I think it would have been an easy touchdown for me.”
There were some bright spots for the Seahawks on special teams, however. Tedric Thompson’s recovery of Andre Roberts’ muffed kickoff return in the second quarter gave Seattle an extra offensive possession before the half and led to Russell Wilson’s 1-yard touchdown run that closed Atlanta’s lead to 21-17.
Tyler Lockett also had his best return day of the season. Lockett had five kick returns for 197 yards, and he reeled off a seasonlong 57-yard run after Atlanta’s first touchdown. Lockett also had returns of 37, 39 and 39 yards to give the Seahawks’ optimal average starting field position at their own 36-yard line.
“We put our offense in a great position. It’s better to start on the 40 and the 45 than to start at the 25,” Lockett said.
Lockett said he’s been working hard on kickoff return basics with special-teams coach Brian Schneider this week.
“One thing Schneider wanted me to work on was just to be able to go downhill and not worry about going sideways and stuff like that,” Lockett said. “We did phenomenal in the drill work and everybody brought it to the game and that’s one of the things we were able to do.
“Hopefully it’s not a one-hit-wonder type of game. Hopefully it’s something we can continue to build off and have great punt returns and kickoff returns this season.”