Do you ever just feel as though things have been going so well that you don’t want them to change? That is probably how Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell has felt about the calendar changing over from December 2017 to January 2018, because the month of December was a hell of a time for the third-year player.
For starters, let’s just point out that he was perfect for the entire month, over the span of five games. He was only asked to attempt 10 field goals in that span—with an 11 that was negated by a defensive penalty in the finale—but he made all of them. He also made all 16 of his extra point attempts. He missed one earlier in the year and also had one blocked.
The month started with a win over the Bengals, a team that he has dominated. In seven career games, Boswell has made all 24 field goals he has attempted against them. They includes the three in the win over them on the fourth of December, including his third game-winning field goal in four weeks with time expiring.
He was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week two days later for his performance against Cincinnati, which was his first such honor of his career. But that was just the prelude to a great month for a guy that they signed mid-season three years ago as their fourth option.
He would have yet another game-winning field goal the following week against the Baltimore Ravens in the game that clinched the AFC North. The following game, he kicked his fourth successful 50-plus-yard field goal in as many games.
Two days after that, Boswell was officially named as the AFC representative for the Pro Bowl at his position, beating out Ravens kicker Justin Tucker. He is the first Steelers kicker to be named to the Pro Bowl since Gary Anderson earned the honor in 1993. Anderson previously also went with the team in 1983 and 1985.
But there were still two games left to play in the month, and he wasn’t done. On Christmas Day, in a blowout against the Houston Texans, Boswell—a Texas native, mind out, out of Rice University—connected on both of his field goal attempts, giving him 35 makes on the year, passing Norm Johnson for the most in team history in a single season.
On Sunday, while he attempted no field goals, he connected on four extra points, giving him a total of 142 points scored for the season—which was one more than Johnson’s record, both of which were set in the 1995 season.
It’s hard to imagine a month going much better for a kicker than December did for the Steelers’ Chris Boswell. But the good news is that he has been superb in January as well. In two previous postseasons, over five games, he is a perfect 15-for-15 on field goal attempts (though I will conveniently ignore the fact that he missed two of six extra point attempts).