Jumping the Long Snapper

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One of the more exciting elements of a great NFL playoff weekend was the back-to-back leaps over the long snapper by Kam Chancellor of the Seahawks.  Chancellor leaped over Panther snapper J.J. Jansen on consecutive field goal attempts.  Unfortunately for Chancellor, his athletic plays went for naught.

On the first kick, Chancellor just missed the ball and the kick was good.  However, a false start penalty on the Panthers moved the kick back.  The second time, Chancellor leaped Jansen again and the kick was missed, but Chancellor made contact with kicker Graham Gano, resulting in a penalty.

Last month, Daren Bates of the Rams cleanly executed a similar move over Giants snapper Zak DeOssie and blocked a field goal attempt.  A few NFL rules come into play on these efforts to block a kick by leaping over the snapper.  If the defender touches the ball, there is no penalty.  Also, if the player leaps over the snapper and does not land on another player, there is no penalty.  Contact with a player, however, will result in a flag.

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