In what may have been the most anticlimactic awards announcement of the year, Panthers kicker Graham Gano has been awarded the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 5 after his thrilling last-second 63-yard field goal that comes with some accolades of it’s own – the longest kick in Panthers franchise history, the second-longest in NFL history and the longest game-winning field goal of all-time all came in one pressurized kick as Gano’s field goal with one second left lifted the Panthers to a 33-31 win and a 3-1 record.
Gano also had three other field goals – 47, 47 and 39 – along with three extra points on Sunday to continue his perfect season; Gano is thus far 7-for-7 in 2017 on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points.
Gano, signed to a four-year contract extension in March of this year, has converted 36 consecutive field goals at Bank of America Stadium and 24 straight overall – the longest active streak in the NFL – as he continues the pace that last year sent him to the Pro Bowl. Gano has converted 97.6% of his field goals over the past two seasons, the best in the NFL.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) October 7, 2018
This marks Gano’s first Special Teams Player of the Week award, but he has won Special Teams Player of the Month in November of 2015 – one can assume he’ll certainly be in contention for that award in October of this year as well; this is the second “Player of the Week” award for the Panthers in 2018 – defensive end Efe Obada has one on his mantel for his performance in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“That was nuts,” Gano said on Sunday after the game. “It felt good and then I heard Mike go ‘Whoo!’ so I was like, ‘It’s got a chance!’ and then everybody was swarming me. I don’t think it’s hit me yet – I’m very blessed to have that opportunity and I’m excited to get the win.”
It is safe to assume that it has hit him now.