The NFL announced the final round of player of the month awards, and San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould took home the December special teams honor. Gould finished the month 18 of 18 on field goal attempts, including a pair of game-winners against the Chicago Bears and Tennessee Titans.
It is no surprise Gould took home the award. He had already been named special teams player of the week for Week 13 and Week 15. He finished the 2017 season with the second best single season points performance in franchise history, converting a career-best 145 points. He finished the season with a career-high 39 made field goals, which led the NFL. His 39 field goals were tied for the third most in a single season in NFL history.
Gould was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate, but his status for the game is up in the air following Greg Zuerlein’s back injury. Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano was also a Pro Bowl alternate, and it appears he gets the nod ahead of Gould. Gano’s availability will depend on how far the Panthers advance in the playoffs.
It’s a great finish to a great year for Gould. That being said, I think most of us are hoping he is not in quite the same position a year from now. It’s important to have a stable kicking situation, but I’d prefer the 49ers be punching the ball in when they get into the red zone, rather than being left kicking field goals. The 49ers took some big steps forward under Jimmy Garoppolo, but the red zone will need to be an area of focus in both player acquisition and the offseason workout program.