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Seahawks' Michael Dickson uses rare dropkick kickoffs vs. Bears

ESPN.com | Updated: 2018-09-18 12:00:22

The Seattle Seahawks' Michael Dickson took advantage of an antiquated rule to dropkick a pair of kickoffs on Monday night.

After the Seahawks scored a touchdown to cut Chicago's lead to 17-10 in the fourth quarter, the Bears were hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the extra point, meaning Seattle would kick off from the 50-yard line.

But rather than have normal kickoff man Sebastian Janikowski send the ball through the uprights, Seattle opted to have Dickson, its Australian punter, dropkick the ball to try to pin Chicago deep.

The plan worked perfectly. Dickson, dropping the ball onto the turf before kicking it on the bounce, landed the ball on the 1-yard line in the arms of Anthony Miller, who could only return it 14 yards -- putting the Bears 10 yards behind where they would have been with a touchback.

Then with 14 seconds remaining and the Seahawks still trailing by seven, Dickson attempted a dropkick onside kick, but Chicago was able to field it without issue and held on to win 24-17. Seattle went with Dickson in that situation because Janikowski has never successfully completed a fourth-quarter onside kick in his long NFL career.

Dropkicks, which can also be used as a substitute for field goals, were common in the early days of the league, but were rare even by the 1930s and disappeared completely before World War II.

Though the possibility to use the dropkick remained in the NFL rulebook, it was not used to successfully kick a field goal again until 2005, when as a novelty New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie dropkicked a fourth-quarter PAT in Week 17.

Ten years later, Patriots special-teamer Nate Ebner -- also an Olympic rugby sevens player -- attempted a dropkick onside kick, but the Eagles fielded it.

Dropkicks are rare in Australian rules football, which Dickson played as a teenager, but are more common in rugby.

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