Los Angeles Rams P Johnny Hekker was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for December:
NFC Special Teams Player of the Month: @JHekker pic.twitter.com/5BeMPCI7kZ— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 5, 2017
In Weeks 13-16 (the Rams’ final game in Week 17 was played on January 1), Hekker punted the ball 27 times at an average of more than 50 yards per. More impressive was that 15 of those 27 punts landed inside the opposing 20-yard line.
The accolade is certainly tied to the record mark he set this season for punts inside the 20:
Congrats to @JHekker for breaking the NFL record for punts inside the 20 #PuntersBreakRecordsToo pic.twitter.com/g0NQtYJD1L— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 24, 2016
Hekker broke the record previously held by Dave Zastudil who set the record in 2012 for the Arizona Cardinals. One important note of distinction...Zastudil set the mark with 46 punts inside the 20-yard line out of 112 punts overall. Hekker finished the season with 51 punts inside the 20...out of 98 punts, 14 fewer than Zastudil.
The previous monthly NFC ST POM winners were Washington K Dustin Hopkins (September), Atlanta Falcons K Matt Bryant (October) and Detroit Lions K Matt Prater (November). Hekker is the only punter to win the award in either conference this year.
Hekker, along with DT Aaron Donald, will represent the Rams at the 2017 Pro Bowl later this month in Orlando, Florida.