Blair Walsh breaks NFL record with ninth field goal from 50-plus yards
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HOUSTON -- Blair Walsh is in the record book. Again.
The rookie place-kicker's 56-yard field goal with 8 minutes, 15 seconds left in the second quarter of Sunday's game at Houston was his ninth in as many attempts from 50 yards or longer -- a new NFL record.
"I honestly haven't thought much about it," Walsh said. "Once the game gets going, I lapsed on what my season long or career long was. I knew it was in the 50s, but I was just trying to make them."
It was the longest field goal in Walsh's young career and matched the longest in Vikings history. Paul Edinger hit a 56-yarder in October 2005.
A sixth-round draft pick from Georgia, Walsh also connected from 41 and 39 yards in the Vikings' 23-6 win, improving to 32-of-35 (91.4%) on the season.
"We got a touchdown lead with that last field goal," Walsh said. "These kicks (Sunday) weren't meaningless field goals. Protection was great (Sunday). The snapper and holder did a great job for me."
Walsh hit three times from 50-plus last week at St. Louis to match the record shared by Morten Andersen (1995) and Jason Hanson (2008) with eight field goals from that distance.
He could have tried a 58-yarder in the fourth quarter, too, but coach Leslie Frazier opted to play it safe and punt -- not that he thought Walsh didn't have the leg for it.
"He kicked it so well in pregame," Frazier said. "Mike Priefer (the Vikings' special teams coordinator) had come up to me and said, 'If we get to the 40, Coach, we can make it.' He actually told me if we cross the 50, we're in good shape and -- ehh. But I felt pretty good when we had a chance to kick the 56-yarder."
Walsh also extended his Vikings rookie scoring record to 128 points with one game to go.
"It's nice," Walsh said of the records, "but our main objective is to go out there and win. I know it's extremely cliché, but we are here as a team. We're not out here to break individual records or have individual stats. We want to win games, and if the records happen, then that's awesome."