On Saturday, Greg Zuerlein breaking the all-time field goal distance record was a just-kidding-but-seriously shibboleth St. Louis Rams fans used on each other. After Sunday's absurd performance against the Seattle Seahawks—he made four field goals, and broke the Rams' record twice with 58 and 60-yarders—it's something national NFL fans are officially thinking about.
Zuerlein doesn't look like a Star Kicker—he doesn't stand out from the crowd of lanky gymnast-cum-soccer types, like Sebastian Janikowski, and he hasn't even come near the playoffs. But since the preseason he's been effortlessly bombing 50-yarders, and when the Rams tested his leg with a 60-yarder in his fourth career game, against an NFC West rival, he came through with aplomb.
After a stint as Rams fans' jokey hero (complete with misspelled jersey) and another as their secret fantasy football weapon, Greg Zuerlein is now—inexplicably—a national story. I'd suggest that involved some added pressure, but it seems clear, so far, that pressure isn't something he thinks about.
Poor Johnny Hekker—on any other team, a rookie punter with some booming kicks and a touchdown pass already on his résumé would be a story. But St. Louis, somehow, is Greg Zuerlein's town.