Unusual plays and unknown options...
The way that rule works for a fair catch 'free kick" is as follows:
If you receive a kick and make a "fair catch", you are eligible to do one additional thing besides start your normal offense. You can in turn kick the ball WITHOUT ANY POSSIBLE INTERFERENCE, only on the play immediately after the fair catch.
So you can attempt a field goal, without having to snap the ball or face any rush or even have the opposition try to jump to block it. Think of the kick much like a Kickoff.
The only restriction, I believe, is that you cannot use a kicking Tee. I don't recall if you can have a holder to hold the ball, like some kickoffs are done when the wind blows the ball off the Tee. I think you can use a holder.
If not, then the "dropkick" method of attempting a field goal would be necessary, unless you just wanted to leave the ball on the ground and kick it.
The dropkick, unlike a punt, requires the ball to touch the ground before it is hit. Some dropkickers would hit it on the rebound bounce, others would hit it just as it struck the ground.
That kick can be for a field goal. Theoretically, you could kick an 80 yard fieldgoal, when you consider that some kickoffs from your own forty go out of the opposition endzone. Of course, like any field goal attempt the ball must go between the uprights ten yards deep in the endzone.
Alternatively, you could punt from the spot of the fair catch. I have never seen this, but again the punt is UNIMPEDED. Think of the "free kick" that takes place after a Safety, where the team getting a Safety scored against them, must then also yield the ball with an unimpeded kick from their own twenty yard line. I suppose that if you made a fair catch deep in your zone you could elect to "free kick" an unimpeded punt hoping for a minimal return after employing a very long line drive type kick that changes the entire field position and strategy of the game.
Sort of what Belichick did with his purposeful Safety in Denver a few years ago. The difference being that you don't have to yield 2 points first.
If you had a coffin corner punter, he could hit a line drive, long distance punt and hopefully have it go out of bounds way down the field to prevent a long return by "outkicking" the coverage. Another benefit is the free kick comes from the line of scrimmage not from deep punt formation 10 -12 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The cost is that you give up the ability to advance the ball and gain first downs.
An interesting question is what is the rule on an attempted field goal, that falls short inbounds.. I think it now is a free ball, until it goes out of bounds. (I think the rules used to be different). Theoretically, you could pretend to punt and then drop kick it instead. If the the receiving team did not try to recover it, you could recover it and retain possesion at the point of recovery. Sort of like an on-side kick.
Can you imagine a 70 yards dropkick, a mad scramble, and a recovery. It would be exciting, and the equivalent of a completing passing "bomb".
Does anyone know what the rule is for attempted field goals, and does it differ with a dropkick. Since the ball first hits the ground, before it is kicked, it may be treated just like a fumble, instead of a short field goal attempt and then it is surely a free ball eligible to be recovered and retain the possesion. It is also possible to advance a recovered fumble so theoretically you could dropkick, recover the "short field goal attempt", and advance it for as Touchdown.
Gee I thought at least someone would know if a short field goal attempt is recoverable by the kicking team. Is it?
Can a fumble be recovered after it is kicked?
Is a drop kick attempted FG treated any different than a conventional FG?
Where and When does the fumble forward rule come into affect during the waning minutes of a game?
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