In what looked to be one of the oddest play calls in the history of NFL overtime, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll tried to answer that question of why attempt an onside kick at the start of OT with an explanation that his kicker Steven Hauschka shanked it.
“We were kicking the ball in a certain area of the field. We didn’t hit it right, and so we just mishit it. … We were kicking the ball way down the field. There was something we saw on them that we wanted to try to take advantage of, but obviously didn’t do that.”
When the Rams lined up, they had six of their 11 at midfield and their 45, with the other five players back by the Rams 25 and deeper. So, when looking at the view from above, there is a soft pocket where there is not a Rams player positioned within a 25 yard area. So it’s possible, Hauschka was trying to pop the ball into that area.
The advantage Seattle had was five of their defenders running with a full head of steam after a popped up punt with three Rams players needing to back peddle to catch. Hauschka admits, he missed it.
“The result wasn’t planned there,” Hauschka said. “I mishit that kick. We were supposed to kick it downfield further than that, but yeah I mishit it. I take the responsibility on that, putting our team in a bad situation there starting overtime.”
The Rams Bradley Marquez alertly signaled for a fair catch since the ball never hit the ground. The play was originally ruled illegal by the Rams, because a fair catch can’t be called for once the ball hits the ground, which official thought was the case, but because Hauschka botched the kick, it popped up in front of the Rams and not over them and never hit the ground. A head’s up play by Marquez, giving the Rams the ball on Seattle’s side of the 50, which led to an eventual game winning field goal in the Rams 34-31 win.