PFF September Awards

| October 1, 2011

The NFL’s first month is in the books. How exciting was that? We had more record-breaking performances than we thought possible, some shocking results and some incredible big plays. It felt good to have football back.
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So, as a thank you to all the players for their hard work and excellent play, we’re handing out some end-of-the-month awards. The four guys who do the analysis that brings you the grades (Neil Hornsby, Sam Monson, Ben Stockwell, and myself) sat down and had an oft-heated discussion before going away and listing our Top 3 for each category.
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First place votes were worth three points, second two, and third one. The player with the most points won the award. Winners of the league-wide awards were removed from consideration for the conference award voting in the same category. We do want to give out more awards, right?
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Here they are, our Players of the Month for September:
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Most Valuable Player: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

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Talk about a 180. Last year we (okay, me and my 33rd ranking of Brady) felt he was dinking and dunking his way in a system that took advantage of defenses. This year he’s just making great throw after great throw. Even that four interception game can’t take the shine (in our eyes) off a simply remarkable start to the season.

Others receiving votes: Drew Brees, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Fred Jackson, Von Miller, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers
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Defensive Player of the Month: Trent Cole, DE, Philadelphia Eagles

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Seriously, why don’t more people talk about Trent Cole being the best defensive end in all of football? What he did to Sam Baker wasn’t just a one-off, it’s what he does all the time. No defender in the league gets close to playing both the run and pass to such a high level, and he comfortably leads both categories in our grading this year.

Others receiving votes: Von Miller, Justin Smith, James Harrison, Stephen Tulloch, B.J. Raji and Darelle Revis
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Offensive Player of the Month: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

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After winning our MVP it was going to be hard not to give this to him. His PFF grade at the moment is a quite ridiculous +31.0. Through three games. That number would have been 16th-best for all of last season. Speechless performances.

Others receiving votes: Fred Jackson, Wes Welker, Drew Brees and Scott Wells
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Rookie of the Month: Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
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A slam dunk of a pick. Every analyst had him as their top guy. He’s not putting up monster stats, but he’s making play after play after play. One of the best defenders in the league already if his three-game performance is anything to go by.

Others receiving votes: Cam Newton, Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard and Karl Klug
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AFC Defensive Player of the Month: Von Miller, OLB, Denver Broncos
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So nice, we voted for him twice. Given the number of guys who received votes you can tell this was a close competition. Ultimately Miller, our top-ranked 4-3 OLB, was so good he had to get it. We’ve seen him play just three games and it’s already getting sickening just how much we can’t avoid praising him.

Others receiving votes: Darrelle Revis, James Harrison, Haloti Ngata, Troy Polamalu and Joe Haden
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NFC Defensive Player of the Month: Justin Smith, DE, San Francisco 49ers
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With Trent Cole having won the big one, Justin Smith steps up to No. 1 here. His first two games would have been good enough to likely win him the NFL Defensive Player of the Month, but struggles againstCincinnatimeans he’s settling for this recognition. Tremendous player who picked up right where he left off from last year.

Others receiving votes: Stephen Tulloch, Carlos Rogers, B.J. Raji and Ndamukong Suh
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AFC Offensive Player of the Month: Fred Jackson, HB, Buffalo Bills
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No Terrific Tom, so Frightening Freddie gets the nod. No. 1 in our running back rankings,Jacksonhas worked at his game to become one of the most complete backs in the league. If you get the ball in his hands you’re doing something right.

Others receiving votes: Wes Welker, Andy Levitre and Rob Gronkowski
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NFC Offensive Player of the Month: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
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Considering how well he is playing, not that much is being said about Drew Brees. Our No. 2 quarterback on the year has carried that Saints offense, with his comeback win againstHoustonbeing a thing of beauty. He’s not lost a step.

Others receiving votes: Bryan Bulaga , Adrian Peterson, Scott Wells, LeSean McCoy and Aaron Rodgers
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AFC Rookie of the Month: Jabaal Sheard, DE, Cleveland Browns
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It’s a fair question, but would Sheard have got this award without the assistance of a statuesque Marc Colombo. His first two games were good enough that he would have been in contention, but possibly beaten out by his Browns teammate.

Others receiving votes: Phil Taylor, Mike Pouncey and Karl Klug
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NFC Rookie of the Month: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
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Okay, that last game featured some shockingly bad throws. He gets a small pass because a) he won, b) he was that good in the first two games, and c) the rest of the competition in the NFC isn’t leaping out and demanding votes.

Others receiving votes: Tyron Smith, Randall Cobb and Ryan Kerrigan
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Follow the team on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled, @PFF_Neil, @SamMonson, @PFF_NateJahnke … and the main feed: @ProFootbalFocus
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  • harryddunn

    And here I thought you had personal grudges against Brady and Suh…