Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown 'hitting his stride,' named NFC Rookie of the Month

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  • Detroit Lions
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  • Amon-Ra St. Brown
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Amon-Ra St. Brown's emergence as the Detroit Lions' go-to receiver has not gone unnoticed around the NFL.

St. Brown was named NFC Rookie of the Month on Thursday after he led all rookies in each major receiving category during the month of December.

In four December games, St. Brown had 35 catches for 340 yards and three touchdowns. He had at least eight catches in every game and his 91.5 scrimmage yards per game were the most among first-year players in Weeks 13-16.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) runs through a hole in the line of scrimmage against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Atlanta.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) runs through a hole in the line of scrimmage against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, in Atlanta.

The Lions (2-12-1) went 2-2 in December.

"We’ve seen him continually take off in terms of his play and not just in the passing game," Lions receivers coach Antwaan Randle El said Wednesday. "You’ve seen what he’s done in the run game in terms of blocking. He’s got better in his route-running and being more defined in it. And then when you do that, obviously to block the way you block, you are deserving of some more opportunities. And he’s been taking advantage of it. So again, (it's) the opportunities, but then again, you’ve got to take advantage of it in terms of he’s been making those plays. He’s been hitting that stride and it’s been good for us, it’s been good for our team and certainly good for him."

A fourth-round pick out of USC, St. Brown got off to a relatively slow start with six catches and 40 yards receiving in the Lions' first three games.

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He has played primarily as a slot receiver this season, but his role has evolved in recent weeks as the Lions have lined him up occasionally in the backfield and targeted him more on designed routes downfield.

St. Brown caught the game-winning touchdown pass against the Minnesota Vikings as time expired, his first touchdown of the season, and had a career-long 37-yard touchdown two weeks later in a win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The first Lion to win Rookie of the Month since Jahvid Best in September of 2010, St. Brown said after a nine-catch, 91-yard performance in Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons that he has gained more confidence as the season went on.

"I think confidence is one of the biggest things you can have in this league," he said. "And then just the coaches and the players trusting you and you going out there, knowing what you can do making plays."

Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Lions' Amon-Ra St. Brown is NFC Rookie of the Month