It's not often that a punter garners superstar treatment, but after pinning down the Bears in as spectacular a fashion as a punter can muster, that's just the way Rams booter Johnny Hekker was treated upon the conclusion of Los Angeles' 24-10 win on Monday night.
The Rams were impressive in all three phases of the game, including special teams, as Hekker punted on five occasions and affixed the Bears at or inside the 10 each and every time.
"The best punter in the National Football League," Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald exclaimed in a postgame interview with ESPN's Lisa Salters. "Johnny's consistent, he do it every single week. He was a big help for us today. He did an amazing job, he was on fire. I think he deserves the game ball. He had a helluva game."
Apparently he got the game ball, as L.A. coach Sean McVay sang Hekker's praises just like Donald did on ESPN.
"He was unbelievable," McVay said. "To have five punts, all of those end up inside the 10-yard line, it was a big-time deal. Very rarely do you give a punter a game ball after a game, but he was very deserving of it tonight."
For the night, Hekker, a four-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection, punted five times, with one setting up the Bears on their 10-yard line and the other four inside of that.
He had one that was downed on the 1 and his most impressive might well have been when he boomed a 63-yard moon shot that came to settle at the 6. The latter came late in the game when the Bears had just scored on the previous possession and there was a glimmer of hope with Chicago down, 24-10.
He had one more that pinned the Bears on their 5 to end his glorious night, one in which the Rams offense went cold late, but his educated foot covered up for it.
At one point he was mobbed by teammates, indicating that unlike many an NFL punter, Hekker is indeed a vital part of the Rams with his presence and performance.
"It's just great to know that Aaron Donald knows my name sometimes," Hekker joked of the celebration, via the Associated Press' Greg Beacham.
As a victorious Monday night wrapped up for the Rams, everyone knew Hekker's name.