Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Notes: Zuerlein's Big Day Nets NFC Special Teams Honor

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rams Notes: Zuerlein's Big Day Nets NFC Special Teams Honor

Article excerpt

In a strong game for both defensive units, Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein literally provided the difference in Sunday's 22-7 victory over the visiting Denver Broncos with 16 points on five field goals and an extra point.

On Wednesday, Zuerlein was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. It was the third such honor for Zuerlein, who was named twice as a rookie in 2012.

"Any time you can win an award, it's great," the third-year pro from Missouri Western said. "But that's not what you set out to do. You go out to do what you can to help your team and that's what I'm happiest about, that I did my job and helped my team.

"Haven't had a lot of chances lately that's just the way it goes sometimes but we got a bunch on Sunday and, yeah, it was a good time."

After successful kicks from 37, 29 and 22 yards in the opening three quarters, respectively, Zuerlein finished strong Sunday with fourth-quarter kicks from 55 and 53 yards to close out the Rams' most complete win of the season.

"In pregame, he was really crushing it, and I think having a kick each quarter helped him keep that going," Rams special teams coordinator John Fassel said. "The (honor) is very well-earned for a kid who works very hard and really has been very good all season long."

Zuerlein, who remembers kicking five field goals in a game as a college senior, has made all 20 extra points and is 15 of 18 on field goals this season, going three for three from 20-29 yards, seven for eight from 30-39 yards, two for two from 40-49 yards and three for five from 50-plus yards.

"He had one bad hit, to the right, but the other misses, he hit great balls, straight with good contact and just started out a little left," Fassel explained.

Zuerlein joins Jeff Wilkins (Oct. 1, 2000 vs. San Diego) as the only Rams' kickers to go five for five on field goals in a game. And according to NFL Communications, Zuerlein also is one of just three kickers in NFL history to go five for five with multiple kicks from 53 yards or longer.

Johnny Hekker, the Rams' punter and holder, called Zuerlein a "technician."

"He's a student of the game and takes a great deal of pride in his putting the ball where it needs to be," Hekker said. …

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