Week 13 of the NFL saw Aussies have some mixed punting performances. And Week 14 of the NCAAF saw an Aussie recognised for a stunning college football career.
Brad Wing’s Giants Playoff Hopes Dashed
Brad Wing had an excellent punting performance in what was an otherwise disappointing day for the New York Giants.
In a local showdown against the New York Jets, the Giants lost the game in overtime after kicker Josh Brown missed a field goal that would have kept the game alive.
The Giants now sit at 5 wins and 7 losses and are second in the underwhelming NFC East division. With such a disappointing win/loss record, the Giants’ only chance of making the playoffs will be by finishing on-top of the division standings.
In yet another consistent performance, Brad Wing was kept busy punting 5 times and landing 4 of them inside the 20 yard line. He averaged 42.4 yards with a long punt of 49 yards.
I don't want to see anyone on this team here next year except for Eli, Odell, Brad Wing, Pugh, Harris, Prince, DRC, and Richburg
— Matt (@MisterRewind) December 6, 2015
Brad Wing punt pins Jets at their own 7 yard line
— Life as a Champion (@LifeasaChamp) December 6, 2015
Wing’s third punt for the game came early in the second quarter and forced a muff from New York Jet’s punt returner Zak DeOssie. Whilst DeOssie quickly recovered the ball, it costs the Jets an extra four yards.
The Giant’s four remaining games are against the Miami Dolphins, the Carolina Panthers, the Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles. For the Giant’s to make the playoffs they won’t want to lose any more than one of these remaining four games. Likewise, they’ll be hoping the Washington Redskins don’t win too many of their remaining games.
Rating – Four inside 20s from five punts. What more can you really say.
4 out of 5
One Punt for Berry as Steelers Thump Colts
Jordan Berry was only minimally required in the Pittsburgh Steelers 10-45 thrashing of the Indianapolis Colts only punting once for 37 yards.
Unfortunately though, it was less of a ‘one-punt-wonder’ and more of a ‘one-punt-wonder-what-he-was-thinking.’ The punt resulted in a fair catch by the Colts’ Griff Whalen on Pittsburgh’s 46 yard line but should have travelled at least another 20 yards to pin the Colts deep in their end of the ground.
Apparently the Steelers plan to help Jordan Berry improve is to make sure he never has to punt.
— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) December 7, 2015
But it was of little consequence as the Steelers ran all over the Colts and kept alive their hopes of securing an AFC wildcard for the playoffs. However, a wildcard entry may prove difficult in the AFC with five teams all sitting on six or seven wins and vying for one of two wildcard entries.
The Steelers have the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Cleveland Browns left to play for the season. The Broncos and the Browns will prove difficult games with both teams on only two losses for the season and sittings on top of their respective divisions.
Rating – There isn’t much to go by in terms of game-time, and unfortunately in the small amount time Berry did get was disappointing.
1 out of 5
Tom Hackett’s Pac-12 Honours
Tom Hackett may have played his final regular season game for the Utah Utes, but the honours for what has been an extraordinary college punting career have kept on rolling in.
This week Hackett was announced as a member of the Pac-12 Team of the Century. A panel of players, coaches and media compiled the team which honoured the best players throughout conference’s 100 year history.
And Hackett finds himself in some esteemed company which includes former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, 1996 Number 1 draft pick Keyshawn Johnson, and current San Francisco 49ers running back Reggie Bush (who is also the guy who originally took Jarryd Haynes’ spot on the 49ers team as punt returner).
At age 23 Hackett is by far the youngest member of the team with the next youngest players being Reggie Bush (aged 30) and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (aged 31). I think it would also be safe to assume that Hackett is the only player on the team who hadn’t stepped onto an American Football field until the age of 19.
Hackett was also the only University of Utah player named in the team with The University of California players making up 24 out of the 50 positions. However, Utah only became a member of the Pac-12 conference in 2011.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) December 2, 2015
This week also saw Hackett named as a member of Pac-12’s all-Conference Team. It’s the third consecutive year that Hackett has been name on the team and Hackett is only the third punter to ever be name on the team for three consecutive years.
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) December 1, 2015
I can only imagine Hackett’s main focus now is on the impending 2016 NFL draft. But Hackett must have to pinch himself when he thinks back on the last three years that he has spent at The University of Utah. For it to culminate in being listed alongside other Pac-12 players who went onto to become NFL greats must be an extraordinarily experience.
Rating – When looking at Hackett’s entire college career I think there is only one possible rating that can be given.
5 out of 5