How about that Jordan Berry?
He proved beyond a shadow of a doubt why Aussie punters with Australian Rules football experience are the hot commodity in the NFL.
Berry played on Sunday evening (Monday afternoon AEDT) for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they hosted the Green Bay Packers for an inter-conference game.
The matchup would normally be compelling, but since Green Bay lost Aaron Rodgers to a shoulder injury, the team has fallen on hard times. The Packers were listed as 14-point underdogs ahead of the game, an almost unheard of spread in the parity-driven NFL. Had Rodgers been available and playing at his usual level, it could have been Green Bay that would have carried the favourite’s price.
The game proved to be quite interesting. The Packers were not interested in the betting line and they matched Pittsburgh score for score, including a fourth quarter drive that went 80 yards and lasted 12 plays, resulting in a tied score of 28 – 28 that appeared headed to extra time until Steeler placekicker Chris Boswell kicked a game-winning-career-long 53 yarder to win the game as time expired.
Not only was it the longest score of Boswell’s career, it was the longest in the history of Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field since it opened in 2001, where swirling winds make even extra points a hit-or-miss proposition. Following Pittsburgh’s first score, in fact, Bowell missed the 33-yard extra point; missed it badly.
As for the aforementioned Berry, he had to punt only three times in the entire game, as the Steelers ran roughshod over an injury-decimated Packers’ defense that was missing All Pro linebacker Clay Matthews.
Those three punts were doozies, however, as all three pinned the Packers’ offense inside their own 20-yard line. Berry does not get a lot of work with the Steelers. The team, while it can be baffling in its inability to score, racks up considerable offensive yardage due to the contributions of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
Given his ability to kick on the run, Berry could well have had a nice career with his hometown side, the Essendon Bombers.