Laces out! NFL missed kick matches Jim Carrey film

Blair Walsh reacts after missing the game-winning field goal. photo / AP
Blair Walsh reacts after missing the game-winning field goal. photo / AP

Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh won't forget his team's playoffs loss to Seattle - the internet will not let him.

The specialist kicker scored all his team's points in its loss to the Seahawks, but it's the one kick he missed that will make his name a cautionary tale in the NFL for years to come.

Walsh, unfortunately, has lived out the plot of Jim Carrey's Hollywood comedy Ace Ventura: Pet Detective as he missed a regulation match-winning field goal kick with just seconds on the clock.

Exactly, like the 1994 film, he shanked the shot when the kick holder held the ball with the laces facing towards him.

The Seahawks overcame subzero conditions to win 10-9 and set up an NFL playoff showdown with the Carolina Panthers yesterday but for Vikings fans there is only Walsh and that kick.

Walsh, who had drilled three more difficult field goals to put the Vikings 9-0 ahead earlier in the game, looked set to clinch a dramatic victory as he stepped up for a 27-yard three-pointer with 26 seconds left.

But to the horror of Vikings teammates and fans in an ice-encrusted US Bank Stadium, Walsh pulled his chip shot well wide of the posts and the Seahawks couldn't believe their luck as they snatched a fortuitous win.

The internet had a field day with 26-year-old Walsh.

And then there were the Ace Ventura zingers.

The movie's plot is centred around fictional character Ray Finkle - the kicker of the Miami Dolphins who misses a simple field goal at Superbowl XVII because quarterback and superstar place kick-holder Dan Marino held the ball for him laces in.

Football Trump @TrumpForCommish
Blair Walsh, you're fired

XFINITY Sports
? @XFINITYSports
#Vikings @BlairWalsh3 > Ray Finkle #TheLacesWereIn
ESPN
? @espn
Before that last kick, Blair Walsh was 33-for-34 from inside 30 yards in his career.
Scott Maxwell @SilvahHammah
Blair Walsh is kicking himself right now. Just kidding, he missed.
Josh Anderson @jj_da_jj123
Blair Walsh is about to be the next Ray Finkle from Ace Ventura Pet Detective
Nick Hofmeyer @nickhofmeyer
Jim Carrey just got a phone call for an Ace Ventura remake. #LacesOut #WalshChoked
chipscoggins
? @chipscoggins
Many Vikings teammates visited Walsh at his locker to offer support. Said Harrison Smith: "We're not going to abandon him."
chipscoggins
? @chipscoggins

Jeff Locke blamed himself for not spinning the ball to get the laces out. Said laces were staring at Walsh when he kicked it.

An emotional Walsh reportedly broke down in the locker room while apologising to teammates.

He refused to blame long snap specialist Kevin McDermott or kick holder Jeff Locke for his placement.

"It was so quick. I don't know what happened," Walsh said, according to The Minneapolis StarTribune.

"It's my fault. I don't care if you give me a watermelon hold, I should be able to put that through.

"Jeff did his job and Kevin did his job. I'm the only one who didn't do my job. That's on me.

"I just didn't put a swing on it that would be acceptable to anybody's standards.

"I worked real hard to get myself to a place where I was very, very consistent for this team all year. In that moment, the moment they needed me the most, I wasn't. That stings.

"I will be working hard to erase that from my career but it will take a while."

StarTribune columnist Chips Coggins said on social media that Vikings teammates tried to support their struggling kicker.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer refused to say Walsh cost his team the win, but admitted it was a kick he had to make.

"We missed a field goal," he said. "We played great on defence all day. We did a good job on the running game. We did a good job on the quarterback. We missed a chip shot field goal. That's life.

"The snap was maybe a little high, but I mean it's a chip shot, he's got to make it.

"I've not said anything to him. It's unfortunate that we lost and we don't have a chance to continue here, but regardless of what people think, regardless of how they think we played. We're a great football team."

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson couldn't believe how lucky his team was.

"Crazy things happen in the playoffs," said Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

"It was an ugly game, we didn't play very good on offence. That's on me. I take the blame for that we've got to be better.

"But look, we kept battling. You've got to keep battling in the playoffs you've got keep battling every opportunity you've got.

"Defence was lights-out for us tonight. They made so many big plays for us that kept us in the game."

The Seahawks had rallied from nine points down late in the third quarter to take the lead in a game that had kicked off with temperatures at minus-21C - the third coldest game in NFL history.

The second coldest game ever was the 1981 AFC championship clash between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers, where the temperature was at minus nine.

The coldest game remains the iconic 1967 "Ice Bowl" between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers, where the temperature was minus 13 at kick-off.

For a while it looked as if the Seahawks - who had demolished Minnesota 38-7 in a one-sided regular season meeting last month - were set to catch a cold, with quarterback Wilson unable to find his rhythm.

Instead it was the Vikings who edged ahead, with three field goals from the boot of Walsh.
Walsh opened the scoring in a defence-dominated first half after a bungled punt from the Seahawks Jon Ryan resulted in a turnover.

Walsh added a second field goal to make it 6-0 at halftime before a 47-yard effort made it 9-0 late in the third.

But Seattle hit back with a touchdown through Doug Baldwin after a seven-play 80-yard drive to make it 9-7, which included a crucial improvised 35-yard broken play from Wilson to Tyler Lockett.

Steven Hauschka then calmly slotted a 46-yard field goal with 8:04 left to put the Seahawks ahead 10-9.

- news.com.au with AFP

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