What a week it’s been for Australian’s playing NFL Week 8 and NCAAF Week 9.
Firstly was the news that Jarryd Hayne has been removed from the 49ers roster. Hayne wasn’t picked up by any other teams in the waiver period so it looks as though Hayne’s best chance is staying with the 49ers. The 49ers have a string of injury problems and only one fully fit running back, so there’s a chance Hayne may find his way back onto the field.
Next, defensive tackle and NFL hopefully Adam Gotsis was injured in the first play of Georgia Tech’s game against Florida State. Gotsis suffered a knee injury but at this point there isn’t much more news. Let’s hope it’s nothing serious and Gotsis is back on the field in no time.
Brad Wing – From Hero to Villain in the Space of Four Quarters
This game was remarkable on so many levels. 14 touchdowns were scored. New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees threw an NFL record equalling seven touchdown passes, whilst New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning threw six. There was not a single field goal until the last five seconds of the game. The Giants looked like losing, then they looked like winning, then they lost. I could go on and on.
But Brad Wing’s day was perhaps emblematic of the New York Giants’ game. Wing went from being lauded to abhorred in the space of four quarters of football.
Wing’s day started well as he made what was close to the perfect punt. Wing’s punt travelled 62 yards and sailed over the head of the Saints’ punt returner. Thinking the punt would travel into the end zone for a touchback, the Saint’s left the ball which then bounced in the opposite direction and came to rest on the four yard line.
— Canal St. Chronicles (@SaintsCSC) November 1, 2015
Pretty sure Brad Wing just won @msimonespn's Punter of the Week award
— uosdwiS r dewoH (@danhaefeli) November 1, 2015
Wing’s cheeky chip shot celebration then sent Twitter a little crazy. It seems that Wing followed the perfect punt with perfect celebration.
— NFL (@NFL) November 1, 2015
Wing then punted two more times for 57 and 47 yards and sending the ball well into the Saint’s side of the ground.
But Wing’s fourth punt came with scores level at 49 each and with 20 seconds left on the clock. But what followed was an extraordinary series of events for Wing.
A timeout was called so we can presume that Wing was given clear instructions. But Wing’s 49 yard punt gave Saints punt returner Marcus Murphy the space to evade Giant’s gunners and gain 24 yards. However, a tackle caused the ball to spill free, which was then recovered by New Orleans’ wide receiver Willie Snead, who was tackled by Brad Wing.
At this point I was thinking; Hell Yeah! Wing’s a Legend! With five seconds left on the clock New Orleans would need to nail a difficult field goal if they wanted to win the game.
But then I noticed the flag had gone down. After a review it was ruled that Wing grabbed Snead’s facemask. This resulted in a 15 yard penalty and New Orleans easily made the field goal and won the game.
The Saints won the wildest NFL game of the year thanks to two screw-ups by the Giants' punter – https://t.co/yvbHB7URSN
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) November 1, 2015
Refs somehow miss Willie Snead grabbing Brad Wing's facemask.. pic.twitter.com/IyWGh4brP9
— Mike King (@MikeKing00) November 1, 2015
Rating – Some will no doubt blame Wing for the loss. The penalty was a bad mistake, and the punt possibly was too. But then he did make close to the perfect punt, and I think it’s also fair to give bonus points for his chip shot celebration.
3 out of 5
Berry Punts Well, Makes Wing’s Day Worse
I can’t imagine what Jordan Berry was thinking as he got changed for this week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Pittsburgh Steelers went into the game wearing their black and gold throwback uniforms. Look, I’m all about celebrating a team’s past, but these uniforms make the Steelers look either like they’re dressed for a Halloween party as Tigger, or wearing a men’s bathing suit from the 1800s.
The Steelers uniforms today pic.twitter.com/pRGD4V3INX
— David Murphy (@d_murph1234) November 1, 2015
— Drakaina (@TruBeautySpeaks) November 1, 2015
But despite the uniforms, Berry had a solid performance in the Steelers 16-10 loss to the Bengals. Berry punted six times for three inside 20s and an average of 35.5 yards.
Jordan Berry another really good punt inside 20. 41-yards out of bounds on the 6. #Steelers
— David Todd (@DavidMTodd) November 1, 2015
Berry’s three inside 20s means that he is now equal with Brad Wing for league inside 20s, along with Kansas City Chiefs’ Dustin Colquitt, and Tennessee Titans’ Brett Kern.
Rating – The solid performance from Berry in what was an extraordinary week for Australian’s playing NFL. Consistency is the key, and Berry is beginning to put in low key but solid performances every week. Let’s hope he keeps it up.
4 out of 5
Michael Dickson – The Aussie Punter who can Tackle
Sydneysider and former Sydney Swans prospect Michael Dickson made a touchdown saving tackle as his Texas Longhorns were annihilated by the Iowa State Cyclones 24-0.
The drab Longhorns performance did mean that Dickson was handed the ball to punt nine times. He averaged 45.8 yards with three inside 20s and a total of 412 yards. His longest punt was 57 yards and three punts travelled over 50 yards.
— Texas Longhorns (@longhornslife) November 1, 2015
However it was after a 54 yard punt early in the 3rd quarter when Dickson was need in the last line of defence. Iowa State’s Trever Ryen evaded the Texas’ gunners and was headed for an otherwise certain touchdown. But Dickson managed to tackle Ryen and stop what would have been another devastating moment for the Longhorns.
— Michael Currie (@michaelcurrie) November 1, 2015
— Simon Kirkman (@SimonSaysSport) November 1, 2015
It’s the second week in a row that Dickson has shown his ability to act under extreme game pressure. Last week, after being given a horrible snap which caused a fumble, Dickson recovered and managed a round the body style AFL punt.
Texas P Michael Dickson earns Big 12 ST Player of Week honors for saved punt https://t.co/IjjMEvPeBs
— SB Nation College (@sbncollege) October 26, 2015
Rating – Whilst I’m certain that Dickson would rather be in a winning team, he performed well in a team that didn’t. Plus, he showed his ability to improvise when under pressure.
4 out of 5