This close to winning and advancing in the playoffs and then… Well, it doesn’t happen! This was the story for the Minnesota Vikings yesterday as an imperative kick was missed.
MINNEAPOLIS – This one will live in infamy for the Minnesota Vikings.
They’d done so much right for more than 59 minutes Sunday. All that stood between them and a wild-card playoff triumph over the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks was a 27-yard field goal attempt from Blair Walsh, who’d hit three times earlier from longer.
But the laces were in on punter Jeff Locke’s hold, Walsh’s kick never had a chance as it sailed wide left and the Seahawks escaped with a 10-9 win that had players from both teams on their knees in disbelief.
“We missed a chip-shot field goal – that’s life,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “It’s a chip shot (Walsh) has to make.”
Said Walsh of the miss: “When they needed me in this moment, I didn’t come through for them. That hurts.”
Vikings teammates consoled the kicker at his locker as he broke down in tears while answering questions about the kick.
“I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was fake. It’s kind of hard to explain,” running backAdrian Peterson said.
Even for a Vikings franchise that has lost four Super Bowls, this may replace Gary Anderson’s miss in the January 1999 NFC championship game and Brett Favre’s interception in New Orleans six years ago as its most painful moment.
Instead of going to Arizona next weekend to take on the Cardinals, the Vikings are headed home. And the Seahawks’ dream of another Super Bowl trip lives another week as they prepare to go to Carolina and take on the top-seeded Panthers.
When asked his reaction to the missed kick, Seahawks cornerback Sherman said: “Thank you, Jesus.”