Aussie Seattle Seahawks punter Michael Dickson may have won the battle but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won the war in a 21-16 win in Berlin.
The 26-year-old from Sydney, currently in his fifth season in the NFL, has once again impressed in the performance, catching the eye once again in a duel with the Buccs’ Jake Camarda.
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Dickson, who was overlooked in the AFL draft where he was a Sydney Swans Academy product, has ridden a lucrative wave after he was picked up via the 149th pick of the 2018 draft, before quickly taking the job of long-time veteran Jon Ryan.
Dickson has earned over $US12 million ($A18m) in his career so far according to Sportrac and is in his second season of a four-year $14.7m deal.
And since joining the Seahawks, the team has never looked back.
Punters in the NFL are only called upon when needing to kick their team out of trouble on a fourth down.
From there, the opposing team may catch the punt and run, a fair catch, which would see the ball put down where it’s caught, placed at where it goes out of bounds or where it’s touched by the offensive team, or a touch back if it is caught in the end zone or it rolls into the end zone.
Dickson had a brilliant performance on a stuttering Seahawks offence, kicking five times in the match for a long punt of 68m and an average of 50.6m.
Four of his five punts finished in the 20 as well, the aim of a good punt.
The 68-yarder was something special, going out of bounds at the Tampa Bay 4-yard line in the second quarter.
NFL Network’s Rich Eisen was blown away by the kick, giving a shoutout to former punter turned media star Pat McAfee at the end of the call.
“Gosh, perfect spiral, and Dickson gets the roll, out of bounds at the three,” Eisen said. “That’s for you McAfee, all the way from Germany!”
A fired up McAfee thanked Eisen for the shoutout, adding a video of his own, saying: “Michael Dickson, an Australian, punting a f**king rocket. Perfection. Out at the three.”
Not to be outdone, Canadian Camarda kicked twice, once for 59-yard and another time for 63-yards, the latter, McAfee called a “monster ball”.
McAfee added: “This is a perfect punting showcase that the world NEEDED to see. LET’S GOOOOOO BOYS.”
But it was Dickson who won over the most fans.
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin raved about the Aussie’s performance.
“I’ve never watched a punter in warm-ups, I sat here and watched this kid,” he said. “He’s so good at what he does, it’s worth me watching a punter.”
Fans were equally impressed by Dickson’s performance.
ESPN analyst and former NFL player Leger Douzable tweeted: “Dickson has been Seattle’s best weapon so far this game.”
AP sports reporter Tim Booth wrote: “That Michael Dickson punt is the best play of the game so far for the #Seahawks … which is a pretty accurate sign of how the first half has gone.”
Former NBC journalist Margaret Larson posted: “Weird showing from the Seahawks. Discombobulated except for Dickson. So far anyway.”
Journalist Nick Lee added: “Apparently the only Seahawks player that can to play is punter Michael Dickson”
But outside of the punters, it’s was as the world expects from Tom Brady who led his side to the victory.
With Seattle coming back to within one score in a game which had looked like a Bucs blowout, a sold-out Allianz Arena started belting out John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’, an Oktoberfest favourite, so loudly it diverted the players’ attention, even if briefly.
“At the end of the game with them singing Country Roads … that was pretty epic,” Brady told the post-match press conference, with the seven-time Super Bowl winner saying “that was one of the great football experiences I’ve ever had.”
“The fan turnout was incredible. It felt electric from the time we took the field.”
The 45-year-old Brady was playing his fourth international NFL game, after two in London and one in Mexico City, all of which he has won.
One of the NFL’s few big names outside the US, Brady’s star shone bright despite coming up against a Seattle side which is Germany’s second-most popular team, according to official NFL figures.
The most popular are the New England Patriots, where Brady won six of his seven Super Bowl rings.
— with AFP