Free Kick Field Goal

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Free Kick Field Goal

Postby MinneapolisSuperSkin » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:39 pm

I was looking at weird NFL plays online today and one thing especially caught my attention (and it wasn't the Doug Flutie drop kick extra point!) I saw a youtube video of Neil Rackers kicking a "free kick field goal". I had never heard of this rule but apparently it goes something like this:

If you fair catch a punt, you are able to put the ball at the line of scrimmage (with a person to hold the ball required) and take a free kick at the field goal. No linemen set up, and you appear to have all the time in the world.

It is not really useful unless the opponent is pinned close to their own endzone with less than 10 seconds on the clock and forced to punt. Then, the ball would have to be inside your own 40 yard line to have a legitimate chance.

You can check it out on youtube, the only ones I have found are an epic fail by Neil Rackers of 68 yards, and a Mason Crosby nearly converted 69 yard attempt.

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Postby Countertrey » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:29 pm

October 5, 1969, Skins vs Niners, 56 yard attempt by Curt Knight was wide right.

November 1, 1970 Skins vs Broncos. 49 yard attempt by Curt Knight was short.

November 25, 1979 Skins vs Giants, 74 yard attempt by Mark Mosely was short.

I can remember watching the 1969 attempt by Knight. He had kicked off of a tee, and felt afterwards that he probably should have used a holder. Well... yeah, that makes sense... soooooooooo...

I watched the 1970 attempt... he used a holder on the shorter attempt... but still missed.

Curt Knight is the only kicker in league history to get two shots at this.


I did not get to watch Mosely's 74 yard attempt, as I was on active duty away from the Redskins broadcast area. Bah!
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Postby Deadskins » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:18 pm

I remember the Mosely kick.
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Postby MinneapolisSuperSkin » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:35 pm

Countertrey, great knowledge! So, apparently a holder is optional. Is it safe to say that nobody has ever made one?

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Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:30 pm

MinneapolisSuperSkin wrote:Countertrey, great knowledge! So, apparently a holder is optional. Is it safe to say that nobody has ever made one?


Actually I just watched the rackera 68 yd attempt and the commentators said the bears were the last team to convert a free kick. So I imagine other teams have too?
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Postby Countertrey » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:24 pm

It's a low percentage proposition, but a handful have been made. The announcer was wrong. The last successful conversion was in 1976 (the year of Desertskin's birth) by Ray Wersching who was kicking for the Chargers at the time. The Bears have converted one... in 1964 by the great Paul Hornung.
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Postby welch » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:42 pm

I think I saw it tried once...missed, but it was a last-ditch attempt. Yes, a strange rule.

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Postby DarthMonk » Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:09 pm

Circumstances of use. A fair catch kick is very rarely attempted, as only a specific combination of circumstances makes it advantageous for the receiving side. The punt or free kick must be fair-caught at a point close enough to make a field goal attempt plausible. There will usually be insufficient time to run more than one play from scrimmage, so is only likely to be seen when the punt would otherwise be the last or next-to-last play of the half. If occurring in the second half, the receiving team would presumably be tied or trailing by three points or fewer so that a successful field goal is significant. Finally, when these rare circumstances are present, a well-coached kicking team should recognize that it is not in their best interests to allow their opponents to make a successful fair catch. They may thus employ any of several tactics to avoid that outcome, such as deliberately kicking the ball out of bounds or far away from any opponent, or running a non-punting play from scrimmage that allows the game clock to expire safely.

In the NFL, a fair catch kick may still be attempted if the half ends on the fair catch play. This is not automatic; a team's captain or coach must exercise this option.

There are several reasons to prefer a fair catch kick to a normal field goal attempt from scrimmage. A fair catch kick is taken from the same yard-line of the catch rather than the usual seven to eight yards back. The defending team must remain 10 yards downfield before the kick. This allows the placekicker a full running start rather than the normal two-step approach, with no concerns about a poor snap from center or a low angle of trajectory that might allow the defense to block the kick.


Known attempts in the NFL. All attempts in this list are from National Football League games. The "Game time" column shows the time remaining in minutes and seconds, and the number of the quarter.

Regular season and postseasonDate Kicker Team Opponent Yards Result Game time Notes
November 20, 1933 Ken Strong New York Giants Green Bay Packers 30 good 3rd quarter [5]
October 23, 1955 Ben Agajanian New York Giants Pittsburgh Steelers 56 missed 0:30, 2nd [6]
November 2, 1958 Gordy Soltau San Francisco 49ers Detroit Lions 61 wide right 0:15, 2nd [7]
September 13, 1964 Sam Baker Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants 47 short 0:00, 2nd [8]
September 13, 1964 Paul Hornung Green Bay Packers Chicago Bears 52 good 0:00, 2nd [9]
December 4, 1966 Fred Cox Minnesota Vikings Atlanta Falcons 40 good 0:00, 2nd [10]
November 23, 1967 Bruce Gossett Los Angeles Rams Detroit Lions 55 short 0:03, 2nd [11]
November 3, 1968 Mac Percival Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers 43 good 0:20, 4th game-winning kick[12]
December 8, 1968 Fred Cox Minnesota Vikings San Francisco 49ers 47 short 0:00, 2nd [13]
October 5, 1969 Curt Knight Washington Redskins San Francisco 49ers 56 wide left 0:02, 4th Game tied 17-17[14]
November 23, 1969 Tom Dempsey New Orleans Saints San Francisco 49ers 57 short/wide left 0:00, 2nd [15]
November 1, 1970 Curt Knight Washington Redskins Denver Broncos 49 missed 0:00, 2nd [16]
November 8, 1971 David Ray Los Angeles Rams Baltimore Colts 45 missed 0:00, 2nd Monday Night Football[17]
November 21, 1976 Ray Wersching San Diego Chargers Buffalo Bills 45 good 0:00, 2nd Last known successful Fair catch kick. [18]

November 25, 1979 Mark Moseley Washington Redskins New York Giants 74 short 4th quarter Longest FG attempt on record until 2008. [19]

September 29, 1980 Fred Steinfort Denver Broncos New England Patriots 73 missed 0:00, 2nd Monday Night Football[20]
November 18, 1984 Raul Allegre Indianapolis Colts New England Patriots 61 short 0:00, 2nd Fair catch of onside kick[21]
January 1, 1989 Mike Cofer San Francisco 49ers Minnesota Vikings 60 short 0:00, 2nd NFC Divisional Playoff[22]
October 9, 2005 Rob Bironas Tennessee Titans Houston Texans 58 short 0:00, 2nd [23]
November 23, 2008 Neil Rackers Arizona Cardinals New York Giants 68 short 0:05, 2nd [24]
December 28, 2008 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions 69 short 0:00, 2nd

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Postby PickSixerTWSS » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:35 pm

Countertrey wrote:October 5, 1969, Skins vs Niners, 56 yard attempt by Curt Knight was wide right.

November 1, 1970 Skins vs Broncos. 49 yard attempt by Curt Knight was short.

November 25, 1979 Skins vs Giants, 74 yard attempt by Mark Mosely was short.

I can remember watching the 1969 attempt by Knight. He had kicked off of a tee, and felt afterwards that he probably should have used a holder. Well... yeah, that makes sense... soooooooooo...

I watched the 1970 attempt... he used a holder on the shorter attempt... but still missed.

Curt Knight is the only kicker in league history to get two shots at this.


I did not get to watch Mosely's 74 yard attempt, as I was on active duty away from the Redskins broadcast area. Bah!
lol mosely is a straight on and had a 74 yard attempt. ROTFALMAO

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Postby REDEEMEDSKIN » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:55 am

I bet Janikowski could make it.

...or Gano.

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Postby DarthMonk » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:38 am

REDEEMEDSKIN wrote:I bet Janikowski could make it.

...or Gano.

ROTFALMAO


Since I have seen him put a kickoff through the uprights from his own 35 I have no doubt!

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Postby PickSixerTWSS » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:41 pm

DarthMonk wrote:
REDEEMEDSKIN wrote:I bet Janikowski could make it.

...or Gano.

ROTFALMAO


Since I have seen him put a kickoff through the uprights from his own 35 I have no doubt!

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Postby Countertrey » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:42 pm

PickSixerTWSS wrote:
DarthMonk wrote:
REDEEMEDSKIN wrote:I bet Janikowski could make it.

...or Gano.

ROTFALMAO


Since I have seen him put a kickoff through the uprights from his own 35 I have no doubt!

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Don't get the "rolly eyes".

It was earlier this year. Kickoff... 75 yards... through the uprights...
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Postby welch » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:26 pm

Seems to me that this kick is an alternative to a hail-mary last-play pass. I remember that being the reason George Allen tried it.

Another alternative to the hail-mary is to throw short, but only to a receiver who can run like Bobby Mitchell. Look up the You-tube: Mitchell catches last-minute pass against the Browns, who had beaten the Redskins every game for about six or seven years, and who had traded Mitchell to the Skins for the rights to Ernie Davis. Norm Snead threw medium to Mitchell, who was running right to left, then cut back left to right, had all the great Browns grabbing at air and falling over.

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Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:20 pm

San Francisco kicker (was it Phil Dawson or the place kicker?) Sept 26th 2013 failed attempt
Last edited by cowboykillerzRGiii on Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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