Notebook: Walsh has personal-best night

Even rookie Blair Walsh had to admit it was a personal-best game, but he came away with a few things to work on. Plus, Jared Allen was impressed with the paper-throwing crowd and other notes that help tell the tale of the Vikings' 36-14 win.

Rookie kicker Blair Walsh had a rare night Friday, breaking or tying a few franchise preseason records … and surpassing some of his personal bests.

He tied a franchise record by scoring 18 points. The interesting part of that is that the other two Vikings who scored 18 in a game were running backs – Dave Osborn in 1970 and Oscar Reed in 1974. The old record for a kicker was 15 points by Fred Cox in 1965.

Walsh was asked when the last time was he scored that many points in a game.

"Never," Walsh said. "It should have been 21, but my timing was off on the second one I tried and I pushed it. It was great to get my number called that often and being able to help the team finish off drives with points."

Walsh also continued to bomb kickoffs.

He had kicks that came down in the end zone five yards deep, one yard deep, five yards deep, eight yards deep, eight yards deep, 10 yards deep in the end zone before having a couple that came down outside the end zone. It was thought that might have been a designed play to get the coverage team some work on directional kicks, but Walsh set the record straight.

"No, it wasn't," Walsh said. "I was peeking my head up a little bit and not being as disciplined as I should have been. It was later on in the game and I have to get on that and get it cleaned up."

To make up for it, Walsh's final kickoff not only wasn't returned, it went through the goal posts.

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

In what may be the enduring moment of the game other than Walsh's performance and Audie Cole's two pick-sixes in the span of 13 seconds was a wave that started early in the third quarter and lasted for a whopping 25 minutes – creating its own excitement and game in the stands. Shortly after the typical wave began, a no-call on a pass interference penalty got some members of the crowd tearing up their souvenir programs and throwing them in the air. The crowd mentality set in and as the wave ringed the stadium not only did the loudness of the fans increase, but it began raining down paper like a tickertape parade, getting the interest of Jared Allen and his teammates on the sideline.

"It was awesome!" Allen said. "It all started because they wanted a (pass interference call). They never cease to amaze me. I thought it was hilarious. Well done to our fans."

Allen said he was spending as much time watching the fans as watching the game because the tsunami (after 10 minutes, it's no long a wave, much less 25 minutes) started with more than 10 minutes left in the third quarter and didn't die off until early in the fourth quarter. Allen said there was one moment he won't soon forget.

"Somebody, I don't know who, threw it but they should measure it," Allen said "I saw a paper airplane come from the top deck and it landed about the 50-yard line. That's impressive. That's got to be some sort of record."

GAMEDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings got off to a strong start, taking The Opening kickoff and driving 80 yards in eight plays. The drive was highlighted by a pair of short passes that turned into big gainers. Christian Ponder completed a bubble screen to Percy Harvin that gained 21 yards and had 15 more tacked on with a personal-foul penalty. After losing three yards on a sack, Jerome Simpson caught a short slant pass that turned into a 33-yard gain – made possible when he hurdled over safety Jarius Byrd and picked up 10 more yards. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to Jerome Felton.

  • The Vikings dominated the first quarter, holding the ball for 10:24 of the first 15 minutes. They outgained Buffalo 115-6 in a lopsided yardage disparity.

  • Ponder had an extremely impressive performance, completing 10 of 13 passes in a little over a quarter of work for 136 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 135.4.

  • Gerhart had another strong outing in limited duty, rushing six times for 30 yards and catching one pass for 19 yards.

  • The Bills kept their starters in much longer than the Vikings, keeping both their first-team offense and defense in the game until late in the second quarter – two drives after the Vikings had pulled most of their first-teamers.

  • The Vikings' dominance of the stat sheet continued throughout the first half, outgaining Buffalo 261-125, despite running just eight more plays than the Bills.

  • Joe Webb was the leading rusher in the first half, taking off on two scrambles – one of 41 yards and another of 23 yards to confuse the Buffalo defense. His 64 yards on two rushes was only four yards short of what Buffalo gained on 20 carries.

  • The Bills had some offensive confusion to deal with early that the coaching staff couldn't have been too pleased with. In fact, it may have set some bizarre record if such stats are kept. Buffalo called time outs after the first play of both halves.

  • Prior to the game, the Vikings gave a moment of silence for former general manager Mike Lynn, who died last month, and paid tribute to him with a video package that was narrated by Bud Grant.

  • The paid attendance was 56,430, which wasn't announced as the 145th straight sellout at the Metrodome, dating back to 1998 when Red McCombs threatened to fire any employee who referred to the preseason as "exhibition" games. Prior to Friday, the team had sold out every game – preseason, regular season and postseason – since August of 1998.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.


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    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Rookie kicker Blair Walsh had a rare night Friday, breaking or tying a few franchise preseason records … and surpassing some of his personal bests. He tied a franchise record by scoring 18 points. The interesting part of that is that the other two Vikings who scored 18 in a game were running backs – Dave Osborn in 1970 and Oscar Reed in 1974. The old record for a kicker was 15 points by Fred Cox in 1965. Walsh was asked when the last time was he scored that many points in a game. \"Never,\" Walsh said. \"It should have been 21, but my timing was off on the second one I tried and I pushed it. It was great to get my number called that often and being able to help the team finish off drives with points.\" Walsh also continued to bomb kickoffs. He had kicks that came down in the end zone five yards deep, one yard deep, five yards deep, eight yards deep, eight yards deep, 10 yards deep in the end zone before having a couple that came down outside the end zone. It was thought that might have been a designed play to get the coverage team some work on directional kicks, but Walsh set the record straight. \"No, it wasn't,\" Walsh said. \"I was peeking my head up a little bit and not being as disciplined as I should have been. It was later on in the game and I have to get on that and get it cleaned up.\" To make up for it, Walsh's final kickoff not only wasn't returned, it went through the goal posts. In what may be the enduring moment of the game other than Walsh's performance and Audie Cole's two pick-sixes in the span of 13 seconds was a wave that started early in the third quarter and lasted for a whopping 25 minutes – creating its own excitement and game in the stands. Shortly after the typical wave began, a no-call on a pass interference penalty got some members of the crowd tearing up their souvenir programs and throwing them in the air. The crowd mentality set in and as the wave ringed the stadium not only did the loudness of the fans increase, but it began raining down paper like a tickertape parade, getting the interest of Jared Allen and his teammates on the sideline. \"It was awesome!\" Allen said. \"It all started because they wanted a (pass interference call). They never cease to amaze me. I thought it was hilarious. Well done to our fans.\" Allen said he was spending as much time watching the fans as watching the game because the tsunami (after 10 minutes, it's no long a wave, much less 25 minutes) started with more than 10 minutes left in the third quarter and didn't die off until early in the fourth quarter. Allen said there was one moment he won't soon forget. \"Somebody, I don't know who, threw it but they should measure it,\" Allen said \"I saw a paper airplane come from the top deck and it landed about the 50-yard line. That's impressive. That's got to be some sort of record.\"
  • The Vikings got off to a strong start, taking The Opening kickoff and driving 80 yards in eight plays. The drive was highlighted by a pair of short passes that turned into big gainers. Christian Ponder completed a bubble screen to Percy Harvin that gained 21 yards and had 15 more tacked on with a personal-foul penalty. After losing three yards on a sack, Jerome Simpson caught a short slant pass that turned into a 33-yard gain – made possible when he hurdled over safety Jarius Byrd and picked up 10 more yards. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to Jerome Felton.
  • The Vikings dominated the first quarter, holding the ball for 10:24 of the first 15 minutes. They outgained Buffalo 115-6 in a lopsided yardage disparity.
  • Ponder had an extremely impressive performance, completing 10 of 13 passes in a little over a quarter of work for 136 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 135.4.
  • Gerhart had another strong outing in limited duty, rushing six times for 30 yards and catching one pass for 19 yards.
  • The Bills kept their starters in much longer than the Vikings, keeping both their first-team offense and defense in the game until late in the second quarter – two drives after the Vikings had pulled most of their first-teamers.
  • The Vikings' dominance of the stat sheet continued throughout the first half, outgaining Buffalo 261-125, despite running just eight more plays than the Bills.
  • Joe Webb was the leading rusher in the first half, taking off on two scrambles – one of 41 yards and another of 23 yards to confuse the Buffalo defense. His 64 yards on two rushes was only four yards short of what Buffalo gained on 20 carries.
  • The Bills had some offensive confusion to deal with early that the coaching staff couldn't have been too pleased with. In fact, it may have set some bizarre record if such stats are kept. Buffalo called time outs after the first play of both halves.
  • Prior to the game, the Vikings gave a moment of silence for former general manager Mike Lynn, who died last month, and paid tribute to him with a video package that was narrated by Bud Grant.
  • The paid attendance was 56,430, which wasn't announced as the 145th straight sellout at the Metrodome, dating back to 1998 when Red McCombs threatened to fire any employee who referred to the preseason as \"exhibition\" games. Prior to Friday, the team had sold out every game – preseason, regular season and postseason – since August of 1998.
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