Michael Dickson is one of the best punters in the NFL, as he regularly helps the Seahawks win the field position battle as one of the few punters capable of sending massive distance punts and dancing the ball down around the goal line with precision and touch.
Dickson is one of the latest in a long line of punters to come over from Australia, as the pipeline from Aussie Rules Football to punting in major college football and the NFL has grown bigger and bigger. That experience in Aussie Rules paid dividends on Thursday night against the Rams when Dickson pulled off the rare feat of a successful double punt that led to an awful lot of confusion before, ultimately, everyone kind of threw their hands up and let it stand.
So this happened.
— NFL (@NFL) October 8, 2021
Dickson’s first attempt gets blocked clean, but the ball stays behind the line of scrimmage so he scoops it with one hand and darts upfield. However, he recognizes that he’s not likely to pick up the first down, as he is a punter running the football and many much larger and faster men are chasing him, even if he has blockers, so he pulls up and boots it again, this time getting a friendly roll to pin the Rams back deep.
The one-handed scoop is, without a doubt, the most impressive part of this play, and the second kick is pretty spectacular given the circumstance. As for the legality of it all, there was some confusion on the field, as they threw a flag initially but picked it up, and also in the booth where Mike Pereira seemed insistent he couldn’t do that but then noted if he stayed behind the line of scrimmage he could. That is, in fact, the rule now.
A second kick from behind the line of scrimmage is legal provided the ball has not crossed the line. https://t.co/uDFIVHUIUA
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) October 8, 2021
That last part is a bit contentious as he is right on the line as he sends it, but the Rams didn’t challenge it and, because it was incredibly cool, no one outside of L.A. is going to be too upset that they allowed it to stand.