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

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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.

22 responses to “NFL says October’s top defensive rookie was the Honey Badger

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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….

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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