Seahawks punter Michael Dickson made one of the most unusual—and impressive—plays of the game in Seattle's Week 5 loss, doing something so rare that even his head coach Pete Carroll, who started coaching football 23 years before Dickson was born, has never seen anything like it.
With the Seahawks trailing late in the third quarter and Russell Wilson having just injured his finger, it looked like things were going from bad to worse when Rams linebacker Jamir Jones broke through the middle to block Dickson's punt.
But a quick-thinking Dickson ran to the loose ball, which was spinning like a top, and deftly scooped it up with one hand while on the run. It appeared for a moment like Dickson might run with the ball, but it was fourth-and-14, and realizing he wasn't going to gain that kind of yardage, Dickson elected to kick the ball again just as he approached the line of scrimmage. Rams punt returner TuTu Atwell had already started moving towards the play after the block, so Dickson's punt landed and took a Seahawks bounce, rolling to the 11-yard line for a 68-yard punt.
"I was going to try to run for the first down, but then I just saw bodies everywhere and saw the first-down marker was like 15 yards away, and was like, 'There's no real chance of me getting a first down here,' so I kind of cut back to try to kick it," Dickson said. "I was ready to get crunched, but luckily I didn't."
And ultimately, it's a play that doesn't happen if not for Dickson's background in Aussie Rules football.
"I kind of just went back to Aussie Rules instincts, to be honest," he said.
A flag was thrown on the play, but after a brief discussion, official decided there was no penalty because Dickson was not past the line of scrimmage on the second kick. And even if their had been a penalty, Dickson figured that was better than the initial block.
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"I thought we were going to have to re-kick it," he said. "And when I kicked it down field I was like, 'All right, we'll just get a re-kick here, it's better than a block.'"
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has seen a lot of things in a coaching career that dates back to the 1970s, but nothing quite like what Dickson did on that play.
"I don't know this for sure, but that might have been one of the great plays I've ever seen a punter make," Carroll said. "I mean, one of the great kicking plays in the history of the league, and I've been around a lot longer than you guys and seen a lot of football and never seen that happen before. What a remarkable play it was. Not just to kick it again, but to kick it where he kicked it and to get so much out of it. I haven't seen the film. I don't know how close it was. It was just a remarkable moment, and Mikey is a pretty darn good football player."
On Dickson scooping the ball up one-handed, Carroll said, "The scoop was ridiculous. Reminds me of one that Marshawn (Lynch) made years ago—plucked it. But that was a marvelous play we witnessed."
Added receiver Tyler Lockett, "Crazy play… That was a heck of kick. Just to be able to think about that at that moment when everybody's running at you and stuff like that, he's ahead of the game when it comes to that as a punter."
The Seattle Seahawks take on the Los Angeles Rams for Thursday Night Football during Week 5 of the 2021 season at Lumen Field. This album will be updated throughout the game. Game Action photos are presented by Washington Lottery.