Thursday night’s game between the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams has been a weird one. We saw an extra point bounce off the uprights. We got to see both Russell Wilson and Matt Stafford deal with finger-related issues (in Wilson’s case, we got to see his dislocated finger many times. We got to see Geno Smith, who you didn’t even realize was still in the league, throw a touchdown.
Oh, and we got to see a double punt, which you probably didn’t even realize is legal.
The Seahawks were down 16-7 in the third quarter when punter Michael Dickson lined up for a very normal punt. Unfortunately for him, it was blocked. But fortunately for him, it bounced around for a bit, he was able to retrieve it, and punted AGAIN down, down the field.
Double punt? Double punt. pic.twitter.com/fp7L9d3llQ
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) October 8, 2021
The ball ended up traveling 68 yards but everyone immediately assumed there was no way that a double punt was legal and it was about to be called back.
Turns out, it’s very legal because the ball didn’t cross the line of scrimmage. Had the ball bounced forward of that line, it would have been illegal.
In #LARvsSEA, the punt was blocked and recovered by the kicking team. The punter kicks the ball again from behind the line of scrimmage. This is a legal kick and the result of the play was the ball was ruled down at the 11 yard line. pic.twitter.com/saAYrCKlzp
— NFL Officiating (@NFLOfficiating) October 8, 2021
From the NFL rule book:
“A second kick from behind the line of scrimmage is legal provided the ball has not crossed the line.”
The ball didn’t cross the line off the block, but it did in the hands of the punter. pic.twitter.com/jOTD6ZCrYc
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) October 8, 2021
As you might imagine, minds were blown all across the nation, even amongst those who cover the NFL for a living.
So you can’t punt the ball twice, unless you can.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 8, 2021
Lol Joe, Troy and Mike just spent that whole review saying you can’t punt it twice in one play and the ref was like nah he’s good
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) October 8, 2021
The rare blocked punt that nets 62 yards for the kicking team.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) October 8, 2021
We've had one, yes. But what about second punt? pic.twitter.com/bjldjsL3Iy
— Jason Kirk (@thejasonkirk) October 8, 2021
So there you go. Who knew that Thursday Night Football would be such a learning experience?