More details are being told about the Cleveland Browns' final field goal attempt by Phil Dawson that went wide left. Here is a summary digest of what happened, according to reports:
- Rams DE James Hall, who was on the field goal blocking team, flinched before the snap. Officials did not throw a flag, and league reports say that officials handled the situation fine.
- Alex Mack flinched as a result of Hall's movement.
- Because of the gusting 40 MPH winds, Ryan Pontbriand aimed to keep the snap low to make things easier on holder Brad Maynard.
- Pontbriand's snap skipped to Maynard, but the veteran punter still managed to get the ball down.
- Dawson's rhythm was thrown off, but he thought he still got enough on the kick. From the Plain Dealer:
Dawson suspected the kick was blocked, because he felt like he hit it well despite the deflected snap and the fact his timing was thrown off. The kick was wide left by about six inches. "I was surprised it headed left,'' said Dawson.
- Hall, the player who flinched before the snap, ended up blocking the kick, according to Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
"It hits his forearm,'' said Spagnuolo. "I'm not so sure that even with all the mis-handling they had, it might've still gone through. Really Gary Gibson (who knocked down Jason Pinkston) on that play and James Hall did a heck of a job. They made an adjustment during the game on their field goal block unit and it was critical at that particular period.''
That is a lot of stuff happening on one play. I had no idea that Dawson's kick missed by only about six inches, and to know that better protection could have allowed the kick to go through makes it even more frustrating.