The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up the first half of Thursday Night Football with a bit of an oddity. After Kyle Williams called for a fair catch on a punt with four seconds left, Jim Harbaugh elected to send out kicker Phil Dawson to attempt a free kick. Dawson was short and wide on the kick, but it certainly made for an interesting decision.
A team is allowed to attempt a free kick after they have made a fair catch on a kickoff or punt. In calling for the fair catch at their 39 yard line, they were allowed to opt for a kick in which the ball was held much like a field goal. Andy Lee held the ball, and the defenders were not allowed to go after Lee. You can read through all the rules of the free kick at NFL.com (PDF).
The kick sailed wide and short, but the 49ers still head into the second half leading the Rams 14-3. After two rough weeks, this was the kind of first half they were looking for. Time for more!