MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 9: Blair Walsh #3 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates the game tying field goal at the end of regulation against the Jacksonville Jaguars during NFL opening day September 9, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Jaguars 26-23 in overtime. (Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)
Rookie kicker Blair Walsh had quite the debut to his NFL career, and he was rewarded for his effort.
Welcome to the league, rook.
You couldn't have asked for a better NFL debut for a kicker than the one Blair Walsh had on Sunday. The sixth rounder out of Georgia was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals in his first game as a pro, and the last two were about as big as you can get. His booming 55-yarder at the end of regulation sent the game into overtime and his 38-yard kick in OT were the winning points for the Vikings over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Walsh also nailed both of the extra points in the game. Another crucial component of Walsh's game was his kickoffs. He put four kickoffs into the end zone, giving his defense a lot of field to work with after the Vikings scores.
When the Vikings decided to let veteran kicker Ryan Longwell go before training camp and not even allow a competition with Walsh in the preseason, the move was met with some skepticism by fans and experts alike. But if Walsh can keep producing like he did on Sunday, this probably won't be the last award of his NFL career.
Nobody's perfect. But on Sunday, Blair Walsh was about as close as you can get.