Graham Gano found out he had won his first NFC special teams player of the month award Thursday as he was waiting on his blueberry bagel.
“I saw the news. I was like, that's pretty cool. But I was waiting on that bagel to pop because I was pretty hungry,” Gano said.
On pace for the highest-scoring season of his career, the Panthers’ kicker had an NFL-leading 62 points in November, going 15-for-17 on field goals and making all but one of his 18 extra-point attempts.
This is the first player of the month award in Gano’s career and only the second time a Panthers’ special teamer has won the award. John Kasay won it in September of 1996.
Gano is second in the league in points scored with 110, trailing New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski by one point. Gano is on pace to score 160 points, which would place him in a tie for 10th all time in NFL history in a single season.
Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson won the conference’s offensive player honors while Arizona defensive back Tyrann Mathieu won it for the defensive side.
Mathieu was no doubt competing against Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly for the award, and Mathieu’s win stopped the Panthers’ sweep of that award this year. Cornerback Josh Norman won it in September and defensive tackle Kawann Short won it in October.