Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh stood in front of his cubicle and spoke to media about his now-infamous 27-yard field-goal try that went wide left in the last minute of Sunday’s 10-9 playoff loss to the Seahawks.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – For the second time in about 18 hours, this time at team headquarters instead of the home stadium, Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh stood in front of his cubicle and spoke to media about his now-infamous 27-yard field-goal try that went wide left.
The last-minute kick Vikings coach Mike Zimmer described as “a chip shot” and one Walsh ought to make.
The kick that could have given Minnesota a victory over the Seahawks in an NFC wild-card playoff game Sunday.
The kick that will forever overshadow the three others he converted earlier in the subzero cold, the only points Walsh’s team scored in a 10-9 loss to the Seahawks.
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“I think it’s important that people understand that, as hard as this is, I’m not a charity case. I’m somebody who’s really confident in my abilities,” Walsh said. “I know that sounds strange, but I’ll be back next year and I’ll be just as good. I know I will.”
He managed a smile. Several of them, actually.
The bitter disappointment wasn’t as painfully obvious on Walsh’s face as it was the day before, when he sobbed heavily in the locker room after the game. His comments were heavily laced with culpability. Laces of ball facing him, left hash mark, wind? None of that mattered.
“I’ve got to do better than that,” Walsh said.
His miss was the shortest in the league this season, excluding blocked kicks, according to STATS research.
As for the predictable vitriol targeted toward him through social media, Walsh sounded unfazed.
“The people who are going to say mean stuff? That says a lot about them. And I think the people who say kind stuff and go out of their way to be kind toward me, that says a lot about them as well,” said Walsh, whose 34 field goals made during the regular season were the most in the league.
• Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended by the league for the first three games of next season.
League officials also are reviewing the conduct of other players and coaches during Pittsburgh’s 18-16 AFC wild-card road victory that turned on penalties against Burfict and Bengals cornerback Adam Jones in the final minute.
Burfict was penalized for lowering his shoulder and hitting defenseless receiver Antonio Brown in the head after an incompletion with 22 seconds left and the Bengals holding a 16-15 lead. Brown got a concussion from the play.
• On the brink of a vote that could return the NFL to the Los Angeles area, a consensus is building within the league for the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers to share a stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
Multiple league officials and owners not involved with the Inglewood project, or the competing proposal in Carson, Calif., say there is momentum to pair the Rams and Chargers.
The Chargers and Oakland Raiders want to build a stadium in Carson and, to this point, Chargers owner Dean Spanos has stood by his partnership with Raiders owner Mark Davis.
League insiders say Spanos doesn’t want to be seen as turning his back on a partner. But the insiders believe the matter can be resolved during the special meeting that starts Tuesday in Houston.
• Tom Coughlin, who stepped down as New York Giants coach last week, is keeping busy. He completed an interview for the Philadelphia Eagles’ job and San Francisco is taking steps to talk with him about its coaching vacancy.