There was skepticism in the NBC viewing room on Sunday as rookie kicker Blair Walsh lined up to try a 55-yard field goal to force overtime.
There was no skepticism after the ball was kicked.
The sixth-round pick from Georgia drilled it, one of four field goals he made in his first NFL game, with no misses. He added a 38-yard game winner in overtime, making him the first person in NFL history to ever score an overtime point that didn’t end the game.
Adding in a pair of extra points, and Walsh was a perfect six-for-six on the day. He also put four of his five kickoffs into the end zone.
For his efforts, Walsh has been named the NFC special-teams player of the week. He’s the first Vikings kicker to win the award since 2008, and the first rookie kicker in team history to accomplish the feat. With his foot.
For a team with an offense that conjures zero memories of 1998 (although a 38-yard field goal definitely does), having a kicker who can make long field goals and influence field position will have a major impact in close games.