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Yes, that Michael Dickson double punt was legal

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Many people are saying that Seattle Seahawks star Michael Dickson is the greatest punter in NFL history. And while they are undeniably correct, we need supporting evidence that he really is the best.

You see, there was a lot of controversy on Thursday night about that double punt late in the 3rd quarter. Travis Homer blew his block and as a result Dickson’s punt was blocked. Not to fear, for the Aussie is here! The quick thinking Dickson picked the ball up, and watching it live I thought he was going to try and run for the first down like the mad genius that he truly is. But no! Here comes a second punt that is so good it ends up being downed at the 11-yard line!

There’s a flag on the play and Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (along with rules analyst Mike Pereira) are convinced this is going to be an illegal kick. Then the refs say there’s no foul! What happened? Are the #Cheathawks back?

Well here’s what NFL officiating had to say.

If you look at the NFL rulebook, there’s a specific note within the kick from scrimmage section that should make this punt legal.

“The penalty for a punt, drop kick, or placekick from beyond the line is to be enforced from the spot where the ball is punted or kicked when the player’s entire body and the ball are beyond the line of scrimmage.”

This is much like the illegal forward pass rule where the quarterback’s body has to be completely over the line of scrimmage when the ball is released. If all of the body is over the LOS, it’s a penalty and loss of down. If even the back foot is on or behind the LOS, it’s a legal forward pass.

In Dickson’s case, it doesn’t look like there’s any clear evidence that he was completely beyond the LOS, therefore making this stroke of improvisation completely legal. I want to shoutout (checks notes) Los Real Polyamorous Tantric Sex Guru for pointing it out on replay to me after I thought Dickson had crossed the line.

You may now use the comments section to draft his Hall of Fame speech.