We have talked a lot this preseason about the New York Giants punting competition between second-year punter Matt Dodge and veteran free agent Steve Weatherford.
My good friend Pat, Traina, editor of Inside Football, has gone on record with her 53-man roster prediction and she has Dodge beating out Weatherford for the spot. I have gone on record as guessing that, in the end, the Giants will choose Weatherford. Am I 100 percent sure? No, but I will stick with it. So, Pat and I will duke it out on this one.
After Monday night, in fact, I think Weatherford may have gained the upper hand. He had two punts for a 37.5-yard average, with one downed inside the 20. Dodge had two punts for a 44-yard average. The difference? When Dodge was asked to drop a punt around the 10-yard line he blasted one into the end zone. Sure, he got a bad snap from Zak DeOssie, but that is the kind of pressure situation the Giants need Dodge to be able to handle. Weatherford, on the other hand, dropped a perfect kick on the 10-yard line that spun back to the coverage team when he was placed in the same situation.
Weatherford has also been the holder on placekicks the past two weeks with Sage Rosenfels out. We know Dodge is a disaster as a holder, and with Rosenfels seemingly in danger of losing his roster spot that would be another advantage for the veteran Weatherford.
We will see, but if this was a horse race I would say Weatherford has a slight lead heading down the back stretch.