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Seattle Seahawks punter Michael Dickson wasn’t expected to win games with his legs — not in the “take-off-and-run-for-a-first-down” way, anyway — but he made a game-icing run Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
And had he not been successful, he might have been in Pete Carroll’s doghouse for a long, long time.
Here’s the setting: After a Matthew Stafford interception, the Seahawks were at their own 1-yard line in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, leading 28-14. The Seahawks ran three times for 2 yards and were going to punt from the back of their end zone. Instead of that, Carroll wanted his punter to run on the back of the end zone, waste some time and then take a safety. Then Seattle could free kick from the 20-yard line.
But as Dickson was running to his right wasting time he noticed that nobody bothered to follow him. So he took off upfield. There’s no way Seattle told him to run the ball from out of his end zone, but off he went.
Dickson took off upfield and had he been tackled short of the first down, the Lions would have had the ball inside Seattle’s 10-yard line with more than enough time to get back in the game. And Detroit’s defense did converge on Dickson. But Dickson turned it up inside, got nine yards and the first down on fourth-and-8, and that effectively sealed the Seahawks win.
Dickson has had a fine rookie season as Seattle’s punter, and he had a high-wire act on a key run that will be remembered for a long time too.
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