Cliff Avril picks up another award after dominant month

After a dominant month, Cliff Avril was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Month for October. Not bad for one of the NFL’s most under appreciated players.

The NFL has named Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril as the Defensive Player of the Month for October. Although Avril has been dominant, the award is somewhat surprising his Avril only has stats from four games in October while most players had five.

Make no mistake though, this is a well-earned honor for Avril. He had an absolutely dominant stretch of games, and they came when the Seahawks desperately needed him to come up big.

Fellow DE Michael Bennett gets all the press (for good reason), but Avril has quietly been one of the most under-appreciated players in the entire league.

Cliff Avril’s October started started strong in New York against the Jets. He had 4 tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble.

After the bye week, Avril came up big against the Falcons with a two sack performance in Seattle’s win. Avril also forced another fumble in that game. This came with Bennett missing part of the game after suffering a hyper-extended knee.

And then there was the tie against Arizona. With Bennett hobbled and significantly less explosive, Avril picked up the slack with 2.5 sacks and 2 passes batted down.

In last week’s the loss to New Orleans, the Seahawks were missing too many pass rushers as they faced Drew Brees. Avril became the focus of the the Saint’s protection scheme and still added another sack, pass deflection and forced fumble.

In four games, Avril amassed 6.5 sacks, 3 pass defections and three forced fumbles. That’s a good season for most defensive ends. Avril did that in a month that included a bye week.

With Bennett now out for another 2-3 weeks, the Seahawks need Avril to be just as good in November as he was in October. If he can do that, then perhaps he won’t be so under appreciated anymore.

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