How the Blair Walsh project doomed the Seahawks in 2017

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Kicker Blair Walsh (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Kicker Blair Walsh (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images) /

Blair Walsh was once the kicker of the Seattle Seahawks. Bringing him back in 2018 would cost Seattle fans. Here’s why ever bringing Walsh onto the Seahawks was a bad idea.

Blair Walsh did not lose the Seahawks the Atlanta Falcons game or the last Arizona Cardinals game. (Seattle was behind when Walsh attempted late field goals against the Cardinals and Falcons.) But he did cost Seattle the Washington Redskins game. Had Seattle won the Redskins game, the Seahawks would have been 10-5 heading into their final game. This would have changed the preparation for the Cardinals game.

In losing to Washington, Seattle was trying to play catch up all year after blowing a game they should have won easily. But Walsh missed three field goals. And those misses were from 44, 39 and 49 yards. All makeable for a kicker who is paid to be in the NFL.

Walsh was but hopefully next year, in Seattle at least, he won’t be.

Walsh began 2017 strong, making 12 of his 13 first field goal attempts. Starting in game eight, though, Walsh went 9 for 16 the rest of the way. The Seahawks should have brought in a kicker mid-year to try to replace Walsh but didn’t. Really, Seattle should have never signed Walsh in the first place.

Walsh and Hauschka

Walsh had a reputation after being cut by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 of being one missed kick away from losing his confidence. This reputation was well-founded. Still, John Schneider took a chance by signing Walsh to replace Steven Hauschka. Schneider took this chance with the team he is the general manager of and one that had made the playoffs every year for the last five seasons.

Seattle is missing the playoffs in 2017, and Walsh is a big reason for that.

Hauschka, meanwhile, had a great season with the Buffalo Bills. He made 29 of 33 field goal attempts and did not miss any one of his 29 extra point tries. True, Hauschka wasn’t as good in 2016 as he had been in previous seasons with Seattle so Schneider let him walk.

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Schneider’s worst mistake wasn’t letting Hauschka go, however, it was in signing Walsh. In doing so, Schneider set Seattle up for failure even before the season began.