On Sunday night, Patriots special teamer Brenden Schooler pulled off an outstanding blocked field goal, lining up near the sideline but then sprinting toward the middle of the field just before the ball was snapped, and then running directly past the Dolphins' blockers to dive in front of the kick. It was a tactic no one could remember seeing before in the NFL.
But everyone in the league knows about it now. John Harbaugh, the Ravens' head coach and a former special teams coordinator, said he loved what the Patriots did.
"I hadn't seen that," Harbaugh said. "I thought it was a really great play, really well executed. They were able to time up the snap operation perfectly well."
Harbaugh was asked if the league might consider banning the play, but he said that it's on the field goal kicking team to change its snap timing if the opposing team can time a block like that, rather than on the league to make the play illegal.
"It doesn't need to be ruled out because all you have to do is change the tempo of your snap count so it's more of a surprise play," Harbaugh said. "I think now people, if that's something a team might do against them, they'll just change the timing of their snap count. But what a good idea that was. They got it, it was a great play. I thought it was brilliant."
It was one of the most innovative plays we've seen so far this football season, and it's undoubtedly something that every special teams coach in the NFL has spent time studying this week.