It's not often a kicker gets injured, nor does it usually directly impact a playoff game.
That's where the Seattle Seahawks found themselves throughout the second half Saturday, though, after Sebastian Janikowski suffered a hamstring injury when attempting an ill-fated field goal just before halftime against the Dallas Cowboys. The Seahawks were forced to instead go for two following touchdowns, fortunately converting both of their attempts. But the weirdest, perhaps worst moment of this circumstance came on a last-ditch effort to regain possession.
Punter Michael Dickson -- an All-Pro, in case you didn't know -- was tasked with attempting an onside kick after the Seahawks scored a touchdown and two-pointer to cut Dallas' lead to 24-22. Dickson, an Australian-style kicker, is not the best at place kicking. His attempts during warmups before the third quarter indicated that, as did Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's decision to not kick in traditional kicking situations.
An onside kick can't occur without some type of kick, though, so Dickson had to kick. He decided to drop kick (the first in the NFL since Dec. 6, 2015), attempting what looked like a golfer's flop shot and instead sending it over the green, into the rough that's also known as the hands of Cowboys receiver Cole Beasley.
"He was trying to get it over the top and drop so we could go get it," Carroll said. "Beasley was up there closer than we thought and he just popped it a bit too long."
The attempt left Carroll with his head in his hands, Seattle without a last shot at taking the lead, Twitter with an armory's worth of second-guessing ammunition, and Dallas with the win.
"I wish Mikey could've found a better place to drop that kick, so we would've had a shot at it, just unfortunate," Carroll said. "Had 1:18 left, we get the ball right there, we have a real shot to win that game."
A real shot, because Seattle's offense -- a stubbornly run-heavy and predictable unit for much of the night -- had found life via desperation. Russell Wilson, a handsomely paid quarterback for good reason, was using his talents to move the Seahawks quickly. It produced a touchdown pass on fourth down and renewed hope -- if Seattle could just get an onside kick.