Did football fans just witness a revolutionary new play that could change the sport during the “Sunday Night Football” game?
Here’s how the play unfolded. Late in the third quarter, the Miami Dolphins lined up for a 49-yard field goal attempt. Just before the snap, New England Patriots special teamer Brenden Schooler went in motion with a running start from the Patriots left side.
He hit almost full speed as the ball snapped and easily beat the edge blocker to block the Jason Sanders attempt.
"You're about to see every special teams in the National Football League and college football put this play in their arsenal, because that running start made it easy to go block the kick… Never seen it."- Cris Collinsworth 🏈🎙️ #SNF pic.twitter.com/Az0dL36hUh
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 18, 2023
NBC Sports analyst Cris Collinsworth quickly made a prediction.
“You’re about to see every special teams in the National Football League and college football put this play in their arsenal, because that running start made it easy to go block the kick. … Never seen it,” he said.
A simulation by Next Gen Stats shows the play the way some coaches may now be drawing it up on the chalkboard.
Patriots special teamer Brenden Schooler got a running start before blocking Jason Sanders' 49-yard field goal attempt.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 18, 2023
The play raised some questions: Why has no one ever thought of this before? Or has it been tried, and just failed? Was this just a fluke, one-time deal? Or, as Collinsworth suggested, will other teams at all levels soon try this?
Fans on social media were generally impressed by the innovation, but not too sure it will become a common event.
And you will see every kicking team adjust their presnap signals. It only worked because they timed it. A simple change of cadence or signal throws this off and would result in a 5 yd encroachment penalty on Defence.
— Matthew Shipton (@MKShipton) September 18, 2023
THIS IS THE MOST LEGENDARY BLOCKED FIELD GOAL OF ALL TIME🤯
The #Patriots just know how to dominate all 3 phases and will always be the most balanced franchise.
The Dolphins right wing didn’t even see the guy that blocked it😳
— First Class Prospects (@FCProspects_) September 18, 2023
Great instincts from Schooler! His speed and timing definitely paid off.
— bigxoidy (@bigxoidy) September 18, 2023
It feels like something that was used in the ‘30s and ‘40s, but called too silly and was gone completely by the ‘70s.
— Scott Sandler, Verrified Across the Spider-Verse (@DigiRanger1994) September 18, 2023
100% guarantee the league bans this in the off season. Just like when we used to jump the center and block kicks and that got banned.
Very innovative and creative play though. Wonder why nobody has tried this before
— Kcb ootf (@KcbOotf) September 18, 2023
— Nicholas Nenad (@nicknenad) September 18, 2023
[Awful Announcing; Photo Credit: NBC Sports]