Onside drop kick lands with a thud for Seahawks

Getty Images

Down 10 points with little more than two minutes left, the Seahawks were done. Unless they weren’t.

After rocketing down the field, scoring a touchdown, going for two (due to the Sebastian Janikowski injury), and getting it, the Seahawks found themselves trailing by the score of 24-22 with 1:18 to play and an onside-kick away at stealing a victory. If they could score another touchdown, because field goals seemed to be off the table.

A conventional onside kick was off the table, too. Punter Michael Dickson tried a drop kick instead. But when it came off his foot it looked like a shot from a pitching wedge that inadvertently sailed over the green. In this case, the rough on the other side of the smooth, flat stuff was the waiting embrace of Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley, who easily caught the ball on the fly and sealed the game.

So what was Dickson trying to do? Apparently, exactly what he did.

“He was trying to get it over the top so we could go get it,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. “Beasley was up there closer than we thought and he just popped it a bit too hard.”

It’s hard to blame the Seahawks for getting creative. The safety-driven reconstruction of the kickoff formation has made it much more difficult to recover the normal rock-skip-on-a-pond onside attempt.

Which should push the powers-that-be toward the fourth-and-15 alternative, where the team that otherwise would be kicking off can punt or go for it. However it would have played out last night, the effort surely would have been a lot more intriguing than what the Seahawks tried to do in order to keep alive their slim chance of pulling off what would have been an incredible comeback.

It that’s what the league is trying to do as the extinction of the kickoff looms, it’s brilliant. Faced with a potential fan and media mutiny for revolutionizing a key aspect of the game, fans and media could actually start clamoring for something other than what the league currently does, if there’s no realistic way for a team that is trailing late to have a chance to keep the game interesting.

25 responses to “Onside drop kick lands with a thud for Seahawks

  1. I’m sorry but you cannot tell me out of the Seahawks 53 man roster…nobody has kicked an onside kick in high school, college, or in practice. They are professional athletes. At least give your team a chance

  2. I felt bad for Dickson – neither he nor his team expected to be in that situation. Gotta hand it to the Seahawks for staying in it and converting twice to keep themselves in the game with a chance to come back.

  3. I loved watching Pete’s face after that horrendous on-side kick attempt, it was nice not watching him jump around and yelling like a fool.

  4. I’ve never understood this with kicking personnel. Why doesn’t every team have their punter try a couple field goals every day during practice? At least then they may have a decent shot if needed in the event of a in-game injury to the place kicker. Are they afraid it will harm the punter’s stroke?

  5. Kickoffs after a score are a tradition to me. Tweak the extra point rules again instead. Offer a 3 point conversion that is snapped where the 1 point conversion is snapped would be a way better change to me personally. Wouldn’t help in the Seahawks case, but hey, do more the other 58 minutes!

  6. It seems like a drop kick onside may be easier to pull off with some practice. Drop it and lift it high with the foot. The ball would have some hang-time and little distance so the kicking team could barrel into the receiving team and leave one fairly tall athletic guy to trail for the “rebound”. Since it bounces off the ground there can be no fair catch and it would be quite difficult for a receiver to jump for the ball while being rammed.

  7. The NFL has effectively killed the on side kick as an effective option with the new rules…..the number of successful on-sides this years was only 2%…..so instead of allowing for exciting ends to games the NFL has practically eliminated the option.

  8. So, go back to the old rule for onside kicks at the end of games when everybody knows its going to be an onside kick. Did anybody ever get paralyzed on an onside kick?

  9. The only thing with the 4th and 15 idea is that it opens it up to automatic first down penalties allowing the team in possession to retain possession.

  10. The NFL wants to cut down on plays that lead to concussions. But they don’t think about an alternative play that is also fun to watch. Some kind of drop kick/punt would be fine. You could adjust it so that an on-sides kick has a 10% chance of success.

    I think many teams do have the kicker practice punting. Apparantly kicking is more difficult than punting.
    I would think that a punter who practices kicking increases his marketability

  11. To me, 4th and 15 sounds like an incredibly stupid idea and way too far outside the box than necessary. It is just dumb.

    At most, the necessary change is to allow players to get a running start like they used to if you are deliberately attempting an onside kick. Otherwise, I would say teams just need to get more creative with their formations and they will as the years go on. This is not a situation that requires some radical stupid thing like 4th and 15 on a kickoff.

  12. I would ask the GM or coach why the punter couldn’t kick a field goal. Then order them to find a punter who can backup the kicker and a kicker who could punt.

    I’ve always said that the kicker/punter switch roles in the preseason.

  13. Maybe,just maybe,IF 40 yr old Janikowski HAD warmed up on the sideline before attempting 57 yard FG the Seahawks he wouldn’t have pulled his hammy. Most kickers warm up by kicking in the net a few times….but NO Jaikowski does ONE practice kick in the air and he thinks he was ready to go.

  14. In that situation with the punter taking the kick, I would have told him to keep it as low as possible and kick it as hard as he could at one of the Cowboys. If it bounces off him you’ve at least got a chance of a recovery, which they never did with what was attempted.

  15. scottishvike says:
    January 6, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I would have told him to keep it as low as possible and kick it as hard as he could at one of the Cowboys.
    ————————————————————————————–
    I would have told him to smash it directly into the ground so it would pop up, could not be fair caught and would have resulted in a melee during which a member of the Seahawks could have plowed into Jason Garrett.

  16. 4th and 15 plays would create a storm of controversy over called/not-called pass interference, hands to the face, facemask, roughing the passer, holding, offsides, illegal contact, and result in accusations of fixing a game.

    An offsides attempt is much more straight-forward. Who came up with the ball? Done.

    4th and 15 ideas should be shelved.

  17. Scott Tish wrote about kicking the ball low and hard at an opposing player.

    I , too, have wondered about this. However, coaches must think it won’t work.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!