You'd think, in the 104th NFL season, we had seen every way for teams to attempt a field-goal block.
Leave it to the New England Patriots to come up with something different. And it worked Sunday night in a 24-17 defeat against the Miami Dolphins.
The premise was easy enough but needed perfect timing. Patriots safety Brenden Schooler motioned toward the ball from the right of kicker Jason Sanders, right down the line. When the ball was snapped, Schooler had a running start. He shot past the blocking end and had a clean shot at the kick, which he blocked.
Schooler made it look easy, and with the running start and the great timing, it was.
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2023
It probably has been done before, with a motion man on defense getting a run like that at blocking a kick, but the NBC broadcast couldn't recall another instance.
"You're about to see every special teams in the National Football League and college football put this play in their arsenal," NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth said. "That running start made it easy to go block the kick."
"Have you ever seen that?" play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico asked.
"Never seen it," Collinsworth said.
"Yeah, that's a new one," Tirico added.
The Patriots are usually ahead of the curve in many areas. They had a pretty fun wrinkle for the Dolphins on Sunday night.