Now that October is over, it's time to look back and point out the best performers in the NFL during the prior month. The league has already announced their awards. Here they are:
AFC Offensive Player - Andy Dalton QB Bengals: Not including last night's game, all Dalton did was complete 89 of 131 passed for 1,246 yards, 11 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He also led his team to four straight wins and was named Player of the Week after his Week 6 performance again the Bills.
AFC Defensive Player - Robert Mathis LB Colts: Mathis had 13 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and a safety. The current NFL sack leader is on track for 26 sacks on the season for the AFC's sixth ranked defense.
AFC Special Teams Player - Stephen Gostkowski K Patriots: New England's kicker was 9-9 on field goal attempts in four games and is the number two scorer in the league right now with 77 points.
NFC Offensive Player - Calvin Johnson WR Lions: It turns out, if you catch 14 passes for 329 yards and a touchdown in one game, you have a pretty good chance of winning the designation of offensive player of the month. For the entire month, he had 26 receptions, 509 yards and three touchdowns, and the Lions currently have the second ranked passing offense in the league.
NFC Defensive Player - Sean Lee LB Cowboys: While the Cowboys defense has been awful this year and currently ranks dead last in the league, Lee managed to have a great month, collecting 47 tackles and having three interceptions.
NFC Special Teams Player - Mason Crosby K Packers: Crosby went 13-15 on field goals, with five of them being from 45 yards or beyond. He had 50 points in the month and tied the franchise record for made field goals in a game with five against the Lions in Week 5.
Offensive Rookie of the Month - Eddie Lacy RB Packers: The Packers went undefeated in four games in October and Lacy had 395 yards rushing and two touchdowns during that span.
Defensive Rookie of the Month - Tyrann Mathieu S Cardinals: The talented rookie defensive back had an impressive month with 20 tackles, a sack, an interception and three passes defended. Not bad for a third round pick.
Since we are discussing players of the month, here are my choices for the Redskins' offensive and defensive players of the month for October.
Offensive - RB Alfred Morris: Somewhat quietly, Morris had a solid October in three games with 52 carries for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged a hefty 5.2 yards per carry in those games and is on pace for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns. In a somewhat odd twist, Morris averaged 5.5 yards per carry and scored all four of his touchdowns in the Redskins five losses this season. In their two wins, he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and scored zero touchdowns.
Defensive - CB DeAngelo Hall: Hall has been providing a spark all year and played excellent football in October. He had 15 tackles, seven passes defended and two interceptions (one of which was returned for a touchdown) during the month. It seems that several times this year, Hall's well timed interceptions have been the only thing keeping Washington in competitive situations as their defense as a whole has struggled.
Unfortunately, these excellent individual performances did not translate into team success, as the team was 1-2 in the second month of the season. Washington's prosperity going forward, however, will most likely hinge on these two continuing to thrive on the field.
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