Cliff Avril has been under-appreciated for years, a zero-time Pro Bowl defensive end with 69 career sacks, a humble guy who doesn’t giggle about that number. But perhaps he can fly under the radar no longer. Avril was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October.
Avril had 6.5 sacks and three forced fumbles last month, terrorizing the Jets, Falcons, Cardinals, and Saints as the team went 2-1-1. He had at least one sack in each game, despite not playing with equally-disruptive distraction Michael Bennett for a good chunk of the month.
It’s difficult to make the Pro Bowl or All-Pro rosters at defensive end, but Avril is on pace for over 16 sacks this season. He has 7.5 in seven games, nearing his total of nine last season and his career-high of 11 in 2011 with the Detroit Lions. His three forced fumbles are already more than he’s had in one season since 2013.