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NFL says October’s top defensive rookie was the Honey Badger

Atlanta Falcons v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

Plenty of people said they thought the Cardinals had one of the steals of the draft when they took Tyrann Mathieu in the third round last April and those that didn’t are probably wishing they had after watching his play for the first two months.

Mathieu has made a smooth transition from collegiate cornerback in 2011 to starting NFL free safety in 2013 and was named October’s defensive rookie of the month as a result of his strong play. Mathieu hasn’t been quite the gamebreaker he was at LSU, but the team’s probably thrilled to see him handling his job well at the back end of a strong defense all the same.

Mathieu had 20 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Cardinals this month as they went 2-2 to remain in the mix for a playoff spot in the NFC. Even if the erratic offense finds some firmer footing in the second half, the defense is likely to be the thing that keeps them there so Mathieu’s quick transition to professional life is a big help on that front.

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22 Responses to “NFL says October’s top defensive rookie was the Honey Badger”
  1. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says: Oct 31, 2013 11:29 AM

    Kiko?

  2. jm91rs says: Oct 31, 2013 11:36 AM

    His game-breaking ability comes from the return game. He won’t be returning much with Patrick Peterson back there, but he’s a heck of a backup return man.

  3. jeffreyshulenburg says: Oct 31, 2013 11:39 AM

    Kiko Alonso is still the Def. Rookie of the Year leader(NFL leader in INTs and Tackles), but his play has dropped off slightly in the past month as opposed to his legendary september.

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Oct 31, 2013 11:56 AM

    Good work, keep proving all the naysayers wrong.

  5. scalfor3 says: Oct 31, 2013 11:57 AM

    It pains me to say this as a Pats fan, but the NFL defensive rookie of the year is Sheldon Richardson. Dude is a beast. Kiko is good, though.

  6. theauger says: Oct 31, 2013 11:59 AM

    Tyrann has been outstanding so far at free safety. A lot of what he does can’t be seen in his stats. And only those that watch him every game appreciate what he brings to the field. He has routinely made open field tackles, put big “legal” hits on receivers, & has shown great instincts in making plays.

    Outside of a few people, his only detractors before he was drafted were because of his off-field issues. So far he has been a model citizen & a great teammate.

  7. cbrown386 says: Oct 31, 2013 12:00 PM

    I’m happy for this kid and hope that he can keep clean and focused on football. Bright future ahead for him as long as he keeps doing what he’s doing.

  8. waxthat says: Oct 31, 2013 12:17 PM

    I can name at least three that deserved this over honey man:

    1. Kiko Alonso
    2. Eric Reid
    3. Sheldon Richardson

  9. EJ says: Oct 31, 2013 12:20 PM

    Kiko Alonso is still the leading candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year. His play hasn’t been as exciting this past week, but that is because the Packers tried hard to stay away from his section of the field.

  10. doubleogator says: Oct 31, 2013 12:23 PM

    Kenny Vaccaro doing a very nice job in N.O. too…

  11. wjmoffatt says: Oct 31, 2013 12:31 PM

    I watched two of the Cards games this month, there is no way he should’ve been defensive rookie of the month! HE didn’t stand out at all.

    There are plenty of guys that deserved it over him; Kiko, Richardson, Ogletree (rams played amazing defense this past month, he had a pick six too) just to name a few….

  12. vacman9100 says: Oct 31, 2013 12:47 PM

    Just a side note…..
    If they call it an award for the month of October.
    Shouldn’t they wait until ALL the October games are played.
    Or does tonight’s October 31st meeting between the Bengals and the Dolphins not count being played in October?
    The October 31st game that is…

    Yes I also understand that tonight’s October 31st game could have guys playing not worthy of winning the October award

  13. j1stat says: Oct 31, 2013 1:00 PM

    um EJ, I think u meant the saints. kiko was nowhere near lambeau on Sunday.

  14. pfic15 says: Oct 31, 2013 1:12 PM

    Show me more than 8 games….

  15. mn1288 says: Oct 31, 2013 1:16 PM

    Overall ROY is Eddie Lacy. No rookie has had the kind of impact to his team as Lacy has. He hasn’t necessarily had the best performance of all rookies, but definitely Rookie MVP for how he has commanded defenses to respect the run.

  16. whereyaat says: Oct 31, 2013 1:19 PM

    It’s the October award. Not the September (Kiko Alonzo) award, or the Rookie of the Year (I need to see more than 8 games) award. Nope, just the October award.

    Gotta love the Honey Badger’s ability to prove the trolls wrong. Keep proving ‘em wrong, Tyrann!

  17. crisper57 says: Oct 31, 2013 1:38 PM

    I think he deserved it. He’s had some huge tackles in the open field that killed some drives. He had a great month of October and has actually been pretty consistent all year. Not saying he will be DROY, but at least he didn’t have a big learning curve at this level either.

  18. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 31, 2013 1:49 PM

    Love that badger.

  19. rvjones11 says: Oct 31, 2013 2:17 PM

    Gosh…I think if you look at stats…Reid has done more ?

  20. don2074978 says: Oct 31, 2013 2:49 PM

    With time running out he got a turnover(don’t remember how or what game). He could have tried to score… Instead he went to the ground. Which impressed the hell out of me.

  21. wininer says: Oct 31, 2013 7:36 PM

    Anyone paying attention to Eric Reid in SF knows who the better rookie S in the NFCW is. Kid replaced a probowler and is both playing better than that probowler and has made the defense as a whole better.

    Honeybadger is good and I wanted him in the draft, but Eric Reid is playing like a seasoned vet ya’ll. He is not only making plays, he is running the db’s as a rookie and making everyone around him better.

    Check the stats, watch him play, Eric Reid is a major reason why the Niners have improved from near the bottom of the league last year in passing defense to 8th this year, all with our best pass rushed missing most the season so far.

  22. lrical says: Oct 31, 2013 9:17 PM

    I wish the cowboys had grabbed him

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