At the very end of the second quarter in today’s Giants vs. Cardinals game, the Giants punted the ball to Arizona with 5 seconds left in the half. Arizona fair-caught the punt and then lined up for a “free-kick field goal”, which means the kicker gets to try a FG without the opposing team rushing him. There was no snap, and he got to take all the time he wanted to kick the ball.
I’ve never seen this before in my life (which is surprising considering how much football I watch), so I looked up the rules….and here they are.
What is a fair catch kick?
After a fair catch, an NFL team has the right to take a free kick from the line of scrimmage on the next play. If the kick goes through the uprights, the kicking team scores 3 points. It is also known as a “free kick field goal.”
What special rules apply?
1. There is no snap.
2. The defense must stand at least 10 yards from the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked.
3. The kicking team may not use a tee. The ball must be placed or drop-kicked.
4. Even if time expired on the preceding play, the fair-catching team may still attempt the kick.
Update – Here’s a video of the fair-catch kick below