After an enthralling first month of the season that has thrown up more than a couple of surprises we take a look at the NFL’s Defensive Players of the Month for September below.
AFC Defensive Player of the Month – Von Miller
Having missed the majority of the last 2 years, Von Miller back in full flight is a joy to behold. An ankle injury coupled with Covid-19 have dealt a couple of blows to Miller. There were those questioning whether we would see him in a Denver jersey again. Denver fans needn’t have worried.
With figures of eight tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks in the first 3 games of a great start to the season for the Broncos, Miller has shown us there is plenty left in the tank. What makes this even more impressive is that he has done this without the aid of Bradley Chubb on the opposite side of the formation for all but 19 snaps this season. With relatively unknown quantities coming off the opposite edge Miller is working through double teams galore. This hasn’t slowed him whatsoever.
Yes he has only come up against lower quality defences to date but you have to play against what is put in front of you. His first real test will come this weekend against the makeshift Baltimore Ravens line who are likely without All-Pro Ronnie Stanley. With Lamar Jackson in his sights we shall see whether Miller can keep this run going into the second month of the season.
NFC Defensive Player of the Month – Trevon Diggs
Trevon Diggs was making noise all throughout pre-season. We know this because much of it was aired on Hard Knocks. After 3 games it appears that practicing against one of the best offences in the league has paid dividends for the young Cornerback. Many Dallas fans and commentators are labelling him the best Corner they have had in years.
He has come out of the blocks like a man possessed all told though. Three interceptions including a pick-six in Week 3 coupled with nine tackles and six passes defenced mean that the Cowboys have been in positions to win games far moreso than they were last year. in 2020 the secondary in Dallas was a mess, Diggs included. This year it appears that lessons have been learnt and players have developed dramatically.
Diggs has been a walking highlight reel through three weeks and the Dallas fans have every right to get excited about his talent. To be fair, talent is in his blood. His brother Steffon has no small amount of that either. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has gone on record to say that Diggs is “A receiver faking it as a D-back”. On the current quality of his play I would say that he isn’t far wrong.
Defensive Rookie of the Month – Asante Samuel Jr
Walking into a league where your father made a name for himself is hard. Having to carry that mantle forward with comparisons unavoidable is hard. Nobody told Asante Samuel Jr that when the season started. He has started out like a rocket. Eleven tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions have shown us all that he is more than comfortable at this level. Had it not been for Tavon Young last week, Samuel would have had the first ever interception off Patrick Mahomes in September. Any September. Not bad for 3 weeks of a professional career!
GM’s around the league will be questioning how they let this talent slip to the middle of the second round in the Draft. The Chargers, as benefactors, won’t care one bit. Samuel Jr makes up one quarter of one of the most exciting young secondaries in the league alongside Derwin James, Nasir Adderley and Michael Davis. This is quickly becoming a no-fly zone, a huge advantage in a Division with huge arms wherever you look.
Samuel Jr looked the part in the Chargers win over the Chiefs. His interception off of Mahomes was great to watch, if a little fortuitous having gone straight through the hands of a Chiefs player. It doesn’t matter how you get them though, just that you do. If Samuel can keep this pace up for the rest of the year then we may well see a new Champion atop the AFC West.
You can find the Offensive Players of the Month in Murray’s article HERE
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