With the preseason in the books for the Minnesota Vikings, let’s take a look at how special teams performed, specifically the kickers: Blair Walsh and Chris Kluwe.
Walsh, the rookie kicker out of Georgia, did a pretty good job in his first NFL action. Overall the 22 year-old made 9 of 12 field goal attempts. He was perfect between 20-39 yards, going 6 for 6, but missed half of his attempts between 40-49. He did not attempt a kick of less than 20 yards, or more than 49 yards.
He seems to be confident in his abilities, and definitely has a strong leg. As with any rookie, you never know what you’re going to get, but I like what I see so far from Walsh. He’s going to miss some kicks that he should make this year, but he’s also going to look like a seasoned vet, at times when he shouldn’t.
As for the veteran punter Kluwe, he was solid as always this preseason. He punted 19 times for an average of 45.3, with a long of 58 yards. Two punts were downed inside the 20 yard line, with only one touchback.
Fans know what they’re going to get from Kluwe. His preseason average is right in line with his 45.7 from a season ago, and he still has the ability to perform any type of kick necessary to get the job done.
So is the Vikings kicking game better or worse than a season ago?
One thing is for sure, what Walsh will lack in accuracy on his field goals, he will more than make up for on his kickoffs. Ryan Longwell only had 19 touchbacks a season ago, and number that Walsh should far surpass, giving the defense some much needed room to work with…