After missing three field goal attempts in Seattle's loss to Washington, Blair Walsh’s disposition didn’t reflect a man who might have had the most miserable day in the NFL this week.
He didn’t hide or avoid the questions or sulk in his own misery. He was patient and accommodating and a paragon of grace.
Blair Walsh’s disposition didn’t reflect a man who might have had the most miserable day in the NFL this week. But it’s gotta be chewing him up — and you have to feel for him.
Actually, if you’re a Seahawks fan, that’s probably the last thing you want to do right now. Walsh missed all three of his field-goal attempts in Seattle’s 17-14 loss to Washington.
Watch | Blair Walsh talks field goal misses vs. Washington
He pulled the first one left from 44 yards in the first quarter, the second one left from 39 yards in the second quarter, and the third one left from 49 yards in the final seconds of the first half. And considering the Seahawks failed on a pair of two-point conversions they wouldn’t have attempted had the score been different, Seattle likely would have won had Walsh just once split the uprights.
How are you feeling right now? Walsh was asked after the game.
“Not good,” he said. “I didn’t help my team today — that’s for sure.”
Walsh wasn’t the sole culprit in the Seahawks’ loss Sunday. Despite acquiring Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown from Houston earlier in the week, the offensive line had one of its worst games of the season. Officials tossed 16 penalty flags against Seattle, and Russell Wilson threw two interceptions.
Still, had Walsh done what he is paid to do, the Seahawks have nine more points. That’s simple math.
Clearly, Walsh was perturbed by his performance. He stayed on the field during halftime and practiced kicks while pigs raced behind him.
He said the misses felt good coming off his foot, but that he failed to adjust to the ragged weather conditions. No excuses, though.
“Those kicks were all me,” Walsh said.
Teammates did their part to express support after the game.
Defensive end Michael Bennett said he wasn’t about to point fingers and that, “I believe in Blair in every facet of the game.”
Wilson said he approached Walsh after the game and told him, “We have all the faith in the world.”
Coach Pete Carroll added that if the Seahawks were within range (their unsuccessful Hail Mary at the end of the game was from the 46-yard line, meaning it would have been a 64-yard field-goal attempt) he would have had no hesitation calling on Walsh.
But words are just words, and if a kicker isn’t in the right place mentally, they sometimes fail to register.
Walsh was correct in saying this was the first game all year he truly struggled (he entered the afternoon 12 of 13 on field goals). But as most Seahawks fans know, he hooked a 27-yarder in the playoffs two years ago that allowed Seattle to beat the Vikings.
His next season was the worst of his career (12 of 16 on field goals, 15 of 19 on extra points), and it’s hard to think a scarred psyche didn’t play a role.
Here’s hoping he’s learned from that experience.
A few weeks ago, Walsh mentioned how he spent part of the offseason watching film of games in which he shined. It reminded him of his rare talent — a skill set that sent him to the Pro Bowl five years ago as the league-leader in field goals made.
Perhaps he’ll implement that strategy again, as Seattle meets the Cardinals in Arizona on Thursday.
“As much as it sucks and as much as I want to be there for my teammates and help us win, I gotta remember that I’m capable of doing good things here,” Walsh said.
This isn’t a Blair Walsh apology piece by any means. An NFL placekicker needs to convert those field goals, and his team needed those points.
Still, it’s hard not to root for the guy to recover, and it’s impossible not to sympathize with his emotions.
Walsh is the smallest player on the Seahawks, but right now, he’s carrying the most weight.
|Kicking the can|
|Blair Walsh, in his first season with the Seahawks, struggled Sunday with three missed field goals. A look at his year-by-year field-goal percentages and how they ranked in the NFL.|
|Season||Team||FG pct.||NFL rank|
|Source: pro-football-reference.com *Based on NFL rankings entering Sunday|