The NFL's wild weekend of wild-card games demonstrated that even in this age of explosive offenses, defense still dominates in the playoffs and it often comes down to a toe, a few fingers or even a 40-year-old hamstring.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Seattle kicker Sebastian Janikowski is out of a wild-card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys after injuring his thigh while missing a 57-yard field-goal try on the final play of the first half.
The 40-year-old Janikowski grabbed the back of his left leg and yelled as the kick sailed wide right Saturday night. He limped to the locker room.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Considering how easily Michael Dickson has adjusted to the NFL and become one of the best punters in the league as a rookie, hearing that he was a bit anxious about a kicking situation may be a surprise.
But last Sunday night, the Seattle Seahawks rookie was on the verge of being asked to perform a task he's never executed outside of messing around at practice or during pregame warmups.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers placed seven players in the Pro Bowl, including safety Derwin James, one of six rookies across the league to make the game.
Spending a draft pick on a punter isn't unusual in the NFL because field position matters in the league. When that rookie comes in and shows off a booming leg, people take notice.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Seattle coach Pete Carroll has found a bigger meaning behind an audacious fourth quarter decision by rookie Michael Dickson to run on fourth down out of his own end zone, a play that somehow managed to net a first down.
DETROIT (AP) — Seattle punter Michael Dickson took the snap and drifted across the back of the end zone, content to take a safety in the final minutes with his team up by 14.
When nobody came all that close to him, he ran 9 yards for a first down.
WATFORD, England (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks' Michael Dickson knows his unconventional punting style is likely to catch the eye of a few kicking enthusiasts in England.
Punts don't score points, though, so he believes the fans might be a bit more dazzled by placekicker Sebastian Janikowski.
"The drop kick is cool," Dickson said. "You do that in rugby a lot. I don't know if we'll be doing it too much ... so (Janikowski) hitting a few field goals will probably get the crowd pretty happy, I'd say."
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — There were so few competitions for starting roles when the Seattle Seahawks arrived for training camp that the daily assessment of where things stood with the kicker and punter became a major topic.
The competition ended as expected with veteran Sebastian Janikowski appearing to be a lock as Seattle's kicker beating out Jason Myers and rookie Michael Dickson as the punter with Jon Ryan's tenure coming to an end.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks have put an end to the kicking competitions in training camp, releasing kicker Jason Myers and punter Jon Ryan, who had been the longest-tenured member of the team.
Ryan posted a lengthy goodbye to the Seahawks and their fans on social media Monday morning. "I never wanted this day to come, but knew it would someday," Ryan wrote.