The Seahawks got lucky when Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a potentially game-winning field goal on Sunday. But it may not have been all a matter of luck.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll said after watching the tape of the game that he believes the presence of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who was just inches away from blocking an earlier Walsh field goal, pressured Walsh to rush his approach on the last-minute kick that he pushed wide left.
“The final kick was kicked much faster than their other kicks. I don’t need to give you the times but it was considerably faster,” Carroll said. “For whatever reason they sped up their mechanism. [Sherman] couldn’t have been closer. We can’t figure out how he didn’t get it. So they went quite a bit faster.”
It’s impossible to say for sure that any one thing caused the missed kick, and Vikings holder Jeff Locke failing to hold the ball with the laces out probably had at least as much to do with it as the Seahawks’ pressure. But Sherman did get close to blocking an earlier kick, and Sherman may deserve some of the credit for forcing Walsh to rush the missed kick.