Ryan Longwell Named NFC Special Teams Player Of The Month

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Kicker Ryan Longwell of the Green Bay Packers, Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks and defensive end Bryce Fisher of the St. Louis Rams are the NFC Special Teams, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Month for December, the NFL announced Thursday.

SPECIAL TEAMS: K RYAN LONGWELL, GREEN BAY PACKERS

Longwell was a consistent performer in five December/January games, helping the Packers to a third consecutive NFC North division championship. Longwell connected on eight of nine field goal attempts during the span, including a pair of game-winning kicks. In a 16-13 win over Detroit at Lambeau Field on December 12, the Bend, Oregon native was good on three of three field goal attempts, despite wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour. His efforts included a game-winning 23-yarder with two seconds remaining. Two weeks later with the NFC North championship on the line against Minnesota, his 42-yarder to end the first half reduced the Green Bay deficit to 21-17 and his 29-yarder as time expired secured the division. Longwell led the team in scoring for the eighth time in his career (120 points), passing Don Hutson for the franchise record.

In his eighth year from California, this is Longwell's third career Player of the Month Award and second of the season (October).

OFFENSE: QB MATT HASSELBECK, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Hasselbeck helped the Seahawks to their second consecutive playoff berth, leading the team to its first division championship since 1999. Hasselbeck started four games in December/January, playing perhaps his best football of the season. He completed 71.8 percent of his pass attempts (94 of 131) for 1,140 yards and 10 touchdowns, posting an impressive 110.9 passer rating. In Seattle's NFC West-clinching 28-26 win over Atlanta last week, the Westwood, MA native had a career-best 77.8 completion percentage (21 of 27), passing for two touchdowns and adding a touchdown run. Hasselbeck averaged 285 passing yards per game in the month, including a 334-yard, three-touchdown performance in a key 27-23 road-win over the Minnesota Vikings. He finished the season with 22 touchdown passes and 3,382 passing yards, joining JIM ZORN as the only quarterbacks in franchise history with three consecutive 3,000-yard seasons.

In his sixth season from Boston College, this is Hasselbeck's first Player of the Month Award.

DEFENSE: DE BRYCE FISHER, ST. LOUIS RAMS

Fisher was a standout performer along the defensive line in five December/January games, helping the Rams to a 3-2 record and their fifth playoff appearance in the last six years. Fisher totaled 31 tackles in the month, posting 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. His 5.0 sacks helped him to a career-high and team leading 8.5 this season. In last Sunday's thrilling 32-29 overtime win over the Jets, Fisher posted a career-best 10 tackles and added 2.0 sacks, his third multiple-sack game of the season. The Air Force graduate played a key role in a 20-7 win against Philadelphia on December 27, totaling seven tackles and 1.0 sack, forcing a crucial fumble to seal the victory. Fisher started December by helping hold the 49ers without a touchdown in a 16-6 win and followed with a 2.0-sack effort against Carolina in Week 14.

In his fourth season from Air Force, this is Fisher's first Player of the Month Award.

2004 NFC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH

September

QB Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia

DE Patrick Kerney, Atlanta

KR Eddie Drummond, Detroit

October

QB Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota

CB Lito Sheppard, Philadelphia

K Ryan Longwell, Green Bay

November

QB Brett Favre, Green Bay

DE Julius Peppers, Carolina

KR Eddie Drummond, Detroit

December

QB Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle

DE Bryce Fisher, St. Louis

K Ryan Longwell, Green Bay

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