It was a sure thing for the Minnesota Vikings ... until it wasn’t.
As the Vikings prepared for Blair Walsh’s field goal attempt in the final minute of Sunday's NFC wild-card showdown with the Seahawks, the following things were true:
1. Walsh was 33-of-34 on field goal attempts from inside 30 yards in his career.
2. Walsh was 15-of-15 on field goal tries made when the game-time temperature was 20 degrees or lower.
But Walsh missed wide left on his 27-yard attempt, and the Seahawks held on for a 10-9 win. The Elias Sports Bureau noted that Walsh's miss is the shortest potential lead-changing field-goal miss in the last minute of regulation in a postseason game.
Entering Sunday, kickers were 188-of-190 on field goal attempts of 27 yards or less this season. Walsh made it 189-of-191 with a 22-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Walsh led the NFL with 34 field goal attempts in the regular season.
His miss brought back memories of Gary Anderson’s missed 38-yard field goal late in the 1998 NFC Championship Game. The Vikings led late, but Anderson, who was 35-of-35 on field goal attempts that season, missed on the attempt that would have made it a two-score game, and Atlanta came back to win 30-27 in overtime.
Like Walsh, Anderson missed wide left.