Fairly or unfairly, Seahawks’ first-year kicker Blair Walsh knows he has a cold-weather stigma attached to his name.
And it is one Seattle fans are all too familiar with — Walsh’s 27-yard miss on a game-winning field-goal attempt with 22 seconds remaining allowed the Seahawks to escape Minnesota with a 10-9 NFC Divisional playoff victory back in 2015.
Well, it was certainly chilly and breezy enough Sunday at CenturyLink Field to play havoc on any special-teams kicking or punting.
It just so happened that Walsh could never find the range, missing all three field goals in the first half of Seattle’s 17-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.
All of his kicks missed left of the uprights.
“That is a tough thing. You identify (the miss) in between kicks and try and correct it, and it does not get corrected,” Walsh said. “For me, it is just I have to know when they are traveling to the left like that, in that type of weather situation, to compensate for it — and angle it ... down the middle.”
Now before Seahawks fans start panicking over whether this is the start of Walsh’s downfall, remember over his six-year NFL career coming into this game, he has converted 84.8 percent of his field goals (145 of 171) during the regular season.
This season alone, heading into the Redskins’ matchup, he made 12 of 13 attempts.
But Seattle coach Pete Carroll noticed even before the opening kickoff, Walsh was really struggling with the conditions.
“The weather was kind of nasty early on,” Carroll said. “I’m disappointed for him.”
Walsh’s first try came at the end if the first quarter after the Seahawks had gone up, 2-0, after a safety.
His 44-yard kick badly missed left at the 3:45 mark.
Walsh’s next attempt came at the end of a long Seattle drive that stalled at the Redskins 21 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half.
This time, Walsh’s 39-yard kick stayed on a path inside the left goalpost before darting left in the final few feet, barely missing.
Seattle traveled 56 yards in 41 seconds to set up one final try at the end of the half.
But Walsh’s 49-yard kick came out low and left, and barely reached the back of the end zone in the final seconds.
While his teammates were in the locker room at halftime, Walsh came out to get extra work in on field goals — all while a pig race was happening right in front of him.
He never got that chance, particularly at the end of the game when the Seahawks had one final play from the Redskins 46, down 17-14.
“I wanted it (a crack at a 63-yarder), but at that point, I understood why there wasn’t a lot of confidence to go hit it,” Walsh said. “We had the wind at our back, but the percentages say play for the Hail Mary (pass).”
The only other time Walsh missed three field goals in one game was in a 16-14 loss at Detroit in December of 2014.
“You have to take (the criticism), and this wasn’t good,” Walsh said. “I didn’t help my team today, that’s for sure. But the thing is, this is the first time this year where I haven’t really come through, and I’ve got to remember that.
“I’ve got to remember that I am capable of doing great things here.”