If you were gambling on the pick for the December AFC special teams player of the month when the month began, there’s not much chance you bet on the eventual winner.
When December started, Josh Brown was on the veteran kicker tryout circuit, popping up in any town where a kicker was injured or missing too many kicks to be reliable. By the time it ended, Brown had made the field goal that clinched a playoff berth for the Bengals and made 11-of-12 field goals overall. That was good enough to make him the special teams player of the month for the second time in his career.
Brown, who signed with the team on December 6th to replace the injured Mike Nugent, hit a 43-yard field goal with four seconds to play in Week 16 to give the Bengals a 13-10 win and their first consecutive playoff appearances since the days when Cris Collinsworth caught footballs instead of telling you who caught footballs. It was the eighth time Brown hit a game-winning kick in the final minute of regulation or overtime in his career.
Brown’s busy month will continue Saturday in Houston when the Bengals face the Texans in an AFC Wild Card game on NBC that is not, alas, being called by Collinsworth.