Patriots special teams changed field goal attempts forever in the NFL

Patriots unleashed a rising special teams weapon and he delivered
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Adam Glanzman/GettyImages

The New England Patriots fell to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night, but, the best play of the game benefited the Patriots. In a game where nearly nothing went right for New England, one player stepped up and changed how teams will now approach their field goal attempts in future games. Leave it to Bill Belichick and crew in 2023 to once again change the game of football.

In the third quarter of Sunday night's game, the Dolphins lined up for a field goal to attempt to extend their 17-3 lead over the Patriots. Jason Sanders, the kicker for the Dolphins came in to attempt a 49 yard field goal. This was certainly no chip shot for Sanders, but little did he know what was about to happen.

Brenden Schooler, a specialist on special teams for the Patriots found quite possibly one of the most unique ways to block a field goal. When the Patriots lined up to block the field goal, they lined up in the usual formation of stacking themselves along the line of scrimmage.. or so the Dolphins thought. Schooler lined up outside, then came to the line of scrimmage at the last second, timed his rush perfectly, and rushed towards Sanders untouched and successfully blocked the field goal attempt.

So now this begs the question, how exactly can this be stopped by opposing teams? From how Schooler did it, this play looks unstoppable. But, in the NFL, anything or anyone can be stopped. One key part of all this is making sure nobody lines up offsides or if there's a penalty. The kicking team could risk a false start in order to find a way to prepare for a rush like that, but that also means losing five yards.

For now, it really looks like the Patriots have found something new and exciting that works. It would be the coaching tree of Bill Belichick that would use special teams to find a way to completely change the game. Now, special teams' coordinators have to prepare for a rush like this with no set answer on how to stop it. Even at 0-2, the Patriots find ways to become headaches for the opponents.