The Vikings' offense was terrible again in Sunday's 22-16 home overtime loss to the Lions. After starting 5-0, Minnesota has now dropped three straight games after its bye.
The injury-riddled offensive line struggled again. The sputtering running game was stuffed again. The 10 guys who caught passes from quarterback Sam Bradford, including Bradford himself, failed to make consistent plays against a bad Lions pass defense.
Everything was further out of sync without Norv Turner. Despite all that, the Vikings easily would have won if not for kicker Blair Walsh.
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No NFL career miss will be bigger for Walsh than his 27-yard field goal shank that cost the Vikings a victory in last season's wild-card game vs. Se
On Sunday, Walsh failed to convert an extra-point attempt and had a field-goal badly blocked in regulation. Because of those issues, the Vikings eschewed a red zone field-goal opportunity early in the fourth quarter and instead whiffed on a fourth-and-1 run.
It's not fair to the Vikings' defense, on which the complete burden of winning lies. That group is getting worn down. A low-scoring, defensive-dependent team needs every ounce of special teams to be successful. Walsh is no longer that type of weapon in the kicking game.
Meanwhile, his counterpart, Lions kicker Matt Prater, nailed a 47-yard field goal to open the scoring and added a 53-yarder for the first points of the fourth quarter. Then Prater outdid both efforts with his game-tying, 58-yard buzzer bomb.
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Meanwhile, Walsh's shakiness cost the Vikings the equivalent of seven points. That's a whole touchdown, folks, for a team that has trouble scoring them.
The Vikings don't need any more anchors weighing down their sinking ship. They should not be afraid to throw Walsh overboard.