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Seahawks’ double punt was so crazy that Seattle punter Michael Dickson didn’t even know if it was legal

Written by on October 8, 2021

It’s not often you have a play in the NFL where no one knows the rules of what just happened, but that’s exactly the situation everyone in the Rams-Seahawks game found themselves in on Thursday night. 

During the third quarter of the Rams‘ 26-17 win, Seattle’s Michael Dickson took the field for what was supposed to be a routine punt, but what transpired was anything but routine. On one of the wildest punt plays you’ll ever see, the Rams blocked the kick, Dickson recovered the ball, he attempted to run, realized he had no shot at a first down, so he punted the ball for a SECOND TIME. 

Not only did he pull off a double punt, but the second kick was nearly perfect: It was a 68-yarder that rolled all the way down to the Rams’ 11-yard line. 

The play was so crazy that no one knew if the second punt was even legal and that includes Dickson himself. The Seahawks punter never made it to the part of the rulebook that covers double punts. 

“I didn’t know the rules about double-kicking,” Dickson said after the game, via the News Tribune

In Dickson’s defense, it didn’t seem like anyone on the field knew the rules. At first, the officiating crew threw a flag on the Seahawks punter, but after consulting for several minutes, the crew decided that Dickson had pulled off a perfectly legal play. 

On the second punt, Dickson just had to make sure one part of his body was behind the line of scrimmage at the 21-yard line and the refs ruled that he had done that. 

There’s a reason you don’t see this happen too often and that’s because most NFL punters probably wouldn’t even think of trying to go for a double punt, but Dickson isn’t most NFL punters. The Seahawks punter is from Australia, so after the kick got blocked, his Aussie Rules Football instincts kicked in. 

“I just had always thought if it even gets blocked behind the line of scrimmage and I can’t advance it, I was going to do some Aussie Rules stuff and try to hit it, punt it down the field and do whatever I can,” Dickson said. “That was always in the back of my mind. And then I had the opportunity. And I just did it.”

His days of playing Aussie Rules Football definitely paid off because Dickson was able to grab the football with ONE HAND after the kick was blocked. 

“The only way I’m going to be able to get this off is by trying to scoop it one-handed and go for it,” Dickson said. “I was like, ‘It’s already a bad situation. Might as well do what I’ve always done in that sport and just try to pick it up like I do, and see what I could do with it.’”

Dickson figured if the officials threw a flag on him for the double punt that he would get to replay the down, which for the Seahawks, would be way better than the Rams getting credit for a blocked punt. 

“I saw it was pretty far away, and it was just bodies everywhere,” Dickson said. “I was like, ‘I’m just going to rekick it, and then if they make me rekick it (by penalty), that’s better than getting a block.”

In the end, everything Dickson did was legal, which makes the entire play even more impressive. In our preseason punter rankings here at CBSSports.com (seriously, we have a preseason punter rankings), Dickson was ranked No. 1 and on Thursday night, everyone in America got to see why. 

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