For Australians playing NFL Week 9 and NCAAF Week 10 it’s been a difficult week.
First was news that Jarryd Hayne, after being dropped by the 49ers, has been placed on their practice squad. And despite being ravished with injuries, the 49ers chose not to elevate Hayne for this week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Next was the news that Georgia Tech defensive tackle and NFL prospect Adam Gotsis’ injury will sideline him for the rest of the season. It’s an unfortunate blow for Gotsis who will miss valuable opportunities to play in front of NFL scouts.
Unfortunately, the news hasn’t gotten much better with another injury to another NFL draft prospect, although our NFL punters have continued to perform well.
Jordan Berry’s Punting Performance
Jordan Berry put in another solid performance this week in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 35-38 win over the Oakland Raiders.
Berry punted five times for an average 41.4 yards and three inside 20s. These inside 20s pinned the Raiders deep within their own territory coming to rest on the 2, 10, and 7 yard lines.
Jordan Berry has had some good punts today. 3 of his punts pinned Oakland deep in their own territory (2, 10, 7) & eliminated return game
— Woot and Wye NFL (@WootandWye) November 8, 2015
One particularly impressive punt illustrated that good punting is more than just about size; it’s how you use it that counts. Berry’s punt which, which only travelled 33 yards, came to rest on the 10 yard line. Berry’s control restricted the ball from entering the end zone and meant the Raiders needed to move the ball an extra 10 yards in order to score.
If the ball goes into the end zone off a punt it becomes a touchback and the offensive team starts their drive from the 20 yard line.
However, we also saw some inconsistencies from Berry this week. One of Berry’s punts was only 36 yards and came to rest on Pittsburgh’s 40 yard line. This was a good example of a punt that should have travelled 60+ yards and the only explanation is that Berry shanked it.
Jordan Berry is not the most consistent punter ever. 38-yarder gives Raiders the ball at the 40.
— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) November 8, 2015
Rating – Berry can be a really good punter and his three inside 20s proves this. But he needs these bad punts out of his game.
3 out of 5
Brad Wing – One Punt, Great Punt
Sometimes punters are called upon, sometimes they’re not. But at least Brad Wing made his one punt count in the New York Giant’s 31-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Wing’s 64 yard punt travelled over the head of Tampa Bay punt returner Bobby Rainey. Rainey was forced to scamper backwards and managed to barely get fingers to the ball. Rainey did recover but was tackled on the 13 yard line.
— Jared Wilder (@jwildog) November 8, 2015
— NY Giants (@giantspress) November 8, 2015
Wing needed a great punt. Only moments before the Giant’s were penalised 5 yards for delaying the game. But also, last week Wing had a little trouble tackling and some have argued that he cost the Giants the game.
Rating – Brad Wing sat on the sidelines for over three quarters waiting to be called upon. And when that call came, he did what was needed to be done.
3 out of 5
Brad Craddock Dislocates Hand
In some more devastating news, another Australian NFL draft prospect will miss valuable pre-draft games because of injury.
Brad Craddock, who is a kicker and sometimes punter, is in his senior year playing for the Maryland Terrapins. Last year he was the winner of the Lou Groza Award which is awarded to the best kicker in the NCAAF. CBS’ Draft Prospect website lists him as the second most likely kicker to be drafted to the NFL in 2016.
But after a successful extra point attempt and a 63 yard kick, Craddock, in the last line of defence, attempted to tackle Wisconsin kick returner Natrell Jamerson. After hitting the turf Craddock stood up clutching his hand.
Locksley said Brad Craddock dislocated a bone in his hand during a first half kickoff. Nothing set on whether he'll return next week.
— Roman Stubbs (@romanstubbs) November 8, 2015
It was later reported that Craddock dislocated his right wrist and after coaching staff were unable to reset it into place, Craddock was taken to hospital for surgery. Currently it seems that Craddock will certainly miss this week’s game against Michigan State. Let’s hope he’s back on the field quickly.
Although Maryland’s special teams have been criticised for poor performance’s this year, Craddock’s performance has been consistent having scored 8 our his 10 field goal attempts and 21 out of 22 extra point attempts.
Rating – It’s hard to rate someone who gets injured. But the injury did come after a 63 yard kick and during an attempt at tackling. But then, maybe if he landed the tackle he wouldn’t have gotten injured? Harsh. So very harsh.
1 out of 5