(Reuters) - Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal attempt with 26 seconds to play to gift the Seattle Seahawks with a bone-chilling 10-9 NFC Wild Card win in the frigid Twin Cities on Sunday.
Walsh, who had hit on 22, 43 and 47 yard field goals, looked poised to send a chilled Minnesota crowd home happy until he pulled his game-winning attempt wide left leaving both teams and a packed TCF Bank stadium crowd stunned.
“Crazy things happen in the playoffs,” said Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. “It was an ugly game, we didn’t play very well on offense and that’s on me. I take the blame for that we’ve got to be better.
“But we won, we kept battling. That is the great thing about it, you have to keep battling in the playoffs, you have to keep battling every opportunity you’ve got.
“Defense was lights out, they made so many big plays that kept us in the game.”
As the lowest remaining seed in the NFC at number six the Seahawks, bidding for a third straight appearance in the Super Bowl, will now head to Charlotte next weekend for a divisional showdown with the number one ranked Carolina Panthers.
The Green Bay Packers will take on the Washington Redskins later on Sunday to close out the Wild Card weekend with the winner facing the Arizona Cardinals.
With the temperature sitting at minus-6 Fahrenheit (minus-21 Celsius) at kickoff, the game was the third-coldest NFL playoff game ever and the Arctic like conditions left both offenses laboring.
Seattle’s first possession ended with punter Jon Ryan unable to handle a low snap and the Vikings took over and converted the miscue into a 22-yard Walsh field goal.
The Vikings built on their advantage with 43- and 47-yard field goals in the third quarter before the Seahawks offense finally heated up in the fourth.
Russell Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a three-yard touchdown strike to cap an 80-yard drive and chop the Minnesota lead to 9-7.
On Minnesota’s next possession disaster struck when Adrian Peterson fumbled on his own 40 and the Seahawks quickly turned that into a 46-yard Steven Hauschka field goal and a 10-9 lead that held up after Blair’s surprising miss.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Larry Fine