THE hype surrounding Aussie punting phenom Michael Dickson was already soaring entering his first NFL game — but it went into overdrive after a sensational debut for the Seattle Seahawks on Monday (AEST).
Seattle lost a tight road contest against the Denver Broncos 27-24 but Dickson received incredible praise after sending down six punts at an average of 59 yards, including a four inside the 20 and a game-high 69-yarder.
Social media reaction began at whether a punter should be classified as an offensive or defensive player because Dickson deserves to be considered for rookie of the year.
But it wasn’t long before he was being nominated as the best player in the league, a future Hall of Famer, the GOAT — and even president.
The only question we should be asking:
Does Michael Dickson get the Offensive Rookie Of The Year or Defensive Rookie Of The year?— Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB)
Russell Wilson got the ball to the best player in the NFL.
Michael Dickson.— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls)
just size Michael Dickson for his gold jacket already— Kenny Ocker (@KennyOcker)
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold)
Michael Dickson FOR PRESIDENT— Jessamyn McIntyre (@JessamynMcIntyr)
Haven’t bought a Seahawks jersey since Marshawn but honestly Michael Dickson might be the man— Jay Willis (@jaywillis)
The 22-year-old, who played Aussie rules in his teens and was a Sydney Swans talent academy member, learnt his craft with Melbourne-based ProKick Australia before starring at the University of Texas.
He was a somewhat surprising selection in the fifth round of this year’s draft (punters rarely go that early), but it’s already being suggested he went too low.
let me be clearer: michael dickson should’ve been the first overall pick— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner)
Michael Dickson cannot be human.— Nicki Jhabvala (@NickiJhabvala)
Others were already talking about the opportunities he will open up for the Seahawks offence on third down because of the security he offers in the punting game.
The reality is, with Michael Dickson there isn’t really a difference between a sack and INC on third down so why not try to create?— Mike Salk, 710 ESPN (@TheMikeSalk)
Everyone’s mad at Russ but when Michael Dickson is your punter it doesn’t matter if you get sacked or throw it away, opponent is gonna get pinned regardless— Ben Baldwin (@benbbaldwin)
Wilson looks like needing all the help he can get after throwing two interceptions in the narrow defeat.
Von Miller was in Super Bowl MVP-winning form for the Broncos, sacking Wilson three times, forced two fumbles and recovered one in helping Case Keenum win his Denver debut.
It was the Broncos’ 18th win in their past 19 home openers, and few were more exciting or competitive.
Keenum threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns, but was also intercepted three times.
Wilson threw for 298 yards and three TDs, but was picked off twice and sacked six times.
Demaryius Thomas atoned for early hiccups with several key catches and a touchdown and Royce Freeman, the first rookie to start an opener for Denver since Hall of Famer Terrell Davis in 1995, helped the Broncos all but salt it away.
The Seahawks got the ball back at their 12 with no time-outs and 1:01 left and couldn’t go anywhere, Wilson finally throwing the ball up at midfield where cornerback Adam Jones picked it off with no time remaining.
Wilson put the Seahawks ahead 24-20 when he found Tyler Lockett all alone for a 51-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter. But Keenum responded with a 4-yard strike to a tiptoeing Thomas, putting the Broncos back on top for good with 11:11 left.