[caption id="attachment_22750" align="aligncenter" width="520"] Associated Press[/caption] This season saw its share of highs and lows for the Aussie athletes competing at the highest level including a playoff appearance for one and a maiden NFL catch for another. Let's take a broad look at how our Aussies fared in the 2012 NFL season. Sav Rocca performed well during his sixth season and second with the Washington Redskins by giving them a solid option at punter. He finished the year averaging 43.9 yards per punt -- a career best -- with a 37.9 net average. That ranks him 25th and 29th for those two stats respectively. Rocca's stats may not have been outstanding, but early in the season he was not helped by a lacklustre special teams unit. Blocked punts and big returns were problems in 2012. The fact Rocca played with a torn meniscus for most of the season should also be considered when assessing his performance in 2012. He will undergo surgery now the Redskins' season is over and should be ready to go in time for camps. Rocca suffered the injury in October but has played through it, he's a tough guy. https://twitter.com/Rich_Campbell/status/288293178304512000 Despite his injury Rocca did have some terrific performances in 2012, including a 48 yard average from five punts against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14 and a touchdown-saving illegal tackle in Week 17 against the Dallas Cowboys - one he was subsequently fined $7,875 for. Mat McBriar found himself competing for a job during the preseason and initially lost, with the Philadelphia Eagles opting to go with Chas Henry instead. However after a few weeks the Eagles cut Henry and McBriar settled into the starting position for the rest of the season. McBriar finished the season with a 46.5 yards per punt average but only a 36.5 net average. This ranked him 15th and 32nd overall respectively for those two stats. The fact that return men were averaging so many yards per return speaks to the trouble the Eagles had stopping it all season, and may fuel the notion that McBriar's punts too often allow for a good return. It's fair to say it was a rough season for McBriar, his struggles mirroring that of the Eagles themselves. This play in Week 15 sums it up rather well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=x4Dw6Hy63Ko Great performances for McBriar in 2012 included a three-punt, 48 yard average game against the Atlanta Falcons and a seven-punt, 49 yard average game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Former Geelong Captain Ben Graham also had a season to forget in 2012. After earning the starting punting job for the Detroit Lions in 2011 Graham found himself injured and released in September. He's currently a free agent. Rugby-turned-tight end Hayden Smith had a good -- if slow -- start to his NFL career in 2012. After making the practice roster in the preseason he found himself moved to the active roster in late October. Our expectations were luke-warm at the time, and indeed he had only 17 snaps in four games in 2012. He did however have one reception -- thrown by Greg McElroy -- in their Week 16 game against the Chargers. The catch went for 16 yards and was his only for the season. https://twitter.com/Hayden_Smith_/status/285527515341144064 It's easy to be cynical, knowing as we do how hard it is to make it in the NFL, but we can view his development with the Jets as a positive thing. It proves Aussies who come from other sports can play American football at the pro level -- even if he got so little action -- and will help open the door for Australians looking to play positions other than punter in the future. It's bee a fun year for Aussies in the NFL with plenty of drama and more than a few surprises. Here's hoping to another great year in the 2013-14 season. As always, if we missed something please feel free to hit us up on Twitter or our new Facebook page. We'll keep posting news for our Aussies as we head into the offseason but expect a focus on potential future Aussie NFL players, most notably Jesse Williams and Brad Wing. Exciting times ahead!