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.

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.

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Josh K
Josh Klein is Managing Editor of The Riot Report. His favorite Panther of all time is Chad Cota and he once AIM chatted with Kevin Greene. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshkleinrules.
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