SportsPulse: NFL insiders give their biggest takeaways from Week 2 including a dominant defensive outing from the Cowboys and the Jaguars statement win over the Patriots.
NFL 2018: Let’s get weird.
Football fans have already been treated to two tie games in the first two weeks of the season (first time that’s happened to start a season since 1971). On Monday night, fans witnessed the rarely seen drop-kick kickoff and drop-kick onside kick.
Following a Russell Wilson-to-Tyler Lockett 19-yard touchdown play that trimmed the Chicago Bears’ lead to 17-10, the Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Dickson — a rookie punter from Australia — drop-kicked the kickoff from the 50-yard line after the Bears were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the extra point. The football reached the 1-yard line, where Bears returner Anthony Miller collected the drop-kick and returned the ball to the 15-yard line.
Later in the game, the Seahawks got to within a touchdown at 24-17 with 14 seconds left after a Wilson scoring strike to Will Dissly. Dickson then attempted a drop-kick onside kick. It was recovered by the Bears and the game was over.
The New England Patriots are the last team to pull off both the drop-kick kickoff, as well as a drop-kick extra-point attempt.
In a 35-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13 of the 2015 season, Nate Ebner — who also plays rugby — did a drop-kick kickoff in an attempt to catch the Eagles off-guard. It didn’t work, but nice try though.
In the 2005 regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins, backup quarterback Doug Flutie drop-kicked the extra point. The successful point-after-attempt was the first drop kick converted in the NFL since 1941.
Dickson was a fifth-round selection in the 2018 NFL draft out of the University of Texas after declaring early following an MVP performance in the Texas Bowl. Dickson then won the Seahawks’ punting job after the team released veteran Jon Ryan in August.
Maybe Dickson will lead a drop-kick revolution nearly a hundred years after it was en vogue in football. The drop-kick was a vital part of the game in the 1920s and 1930s, but fell out of favor as the shape of the football changed to become more aerodynamic. 64 years before Flutie’s drop-kicked extra point, the Chicago Bears’ Ray “Scooter” McLean pulled off the last successful drop-kick, converting an extra point in a 37-9 win over the New York Giants in the 1941 NFL Championship Game.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.
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