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Lunchbreak: Cousins, Kendricks Named PFF’s NFC Players of the Month

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for his stellar performance over the past four games for Minnesota.

Analytics site Pro Football Focus also tabbed Cousins as their NFC Offensive Player of the Month. And while the NFL named 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa the NFC Defensive Player of the Month, PFF gave the honor to another Viking: linebacker Eric Kendricks.

PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote the following:

There is no player that has been hotter over the last four weeks than Cousins, and frankly, no other player has come close to his overall grade of 95.2 over that stretch. In each of those four games – all of which were wins for the Vikings – Cousins graded at 83.0 or higher. PFF’s quarterback grades don’t always align with box score production, whether that be due to dropped passes or an 80-yard screen in which the receiver does all the work, but in the case of Cousins in October they absolutely do. His 10.9 yards per attempt (1.7 higher than the next closest qualifying quarterback) and 137.1 passer rating (18.4 higher than the next closest quarterback) are deserved given how well he has played of late.

The NFC awards remain in Minnesota, as Cousins’ teammate Eric Kendricks was the highest-graded defensive player in the conference. He has put together one of the more impressive defensive performances of any player this season, recently making PFF’s Midseason All-Pro Team, and October was no different. Kendricks was an all-around star in the middle of the Vikings defense with run defense, coverage and pass-rushing grades all above 80.0. He recorded 11 pressures (most of any off-ball linebacker), seven pass breakups (five more than any other linebacker) and did not miss a single tackle in run defense.

Linsey highlighted Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis for the NFC Special Teams Player of the Month.

For the AFC, he listed Texans receiver Deandre Hopkins, Broncos linebacker Alexander Johnson and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker.

CBS Sports releases 2019 midseason awards; Vikings receive vote as SB champ

It’s that time of the year where analysts roll out their midseason awards and predictions.

Earlier this week, we pointed you to NFL.com’s version, where running back Dalvin Cook received votes for Offensive and Comeback Player of the Year, as well as MVP.

Cook popped up in CBS Sports’ 2019 midseason awards, as well. While John Breech’s six counterparts voted for Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, the analyst argued that Cook should be considered for Offensive Player of the Year. He wrote:

Not only does Cook currently lead the NFL in rushing, but the Vikings running back is on pace for nearly 1,650 rushing yards, which would be the highest total the league has seen since 2014 [when DeMarco Murray racked up 1,845]. The Vikings love to run the ball, which means if Cook can stay healthy, his number should only get more impressive down the stretch.

The Vikings also received a vote for Super Bowl champion from Will Brinson, who said the following:

Not going to sway from my original pick when they’re playing some good football. Minnesota’s defense looks above average, Kirk Cousins has calmed the critics and the Vikings should be playoff bound. Now he just has to win a bunch of big games in a row.

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