Seahawks DE Cliff Avril named NFC defensive player of month
After Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti on Oct. 4, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril announced he would donate $6,000 -- enough to construct a safe, sustainable house on the Caribbean island -- for every sack he made during the 2016 season.
At the rate he's been keeping up this season, Avril is going to have an entire subdivision with his name on it.
The 30-year-old ranks first on the team (and is tied for third in the NFL) with 7.5 sacks through seven games. Six-and-a-half of those came in Seattle's last four games, which was enough for Avril to be named NFC defensive player of the month for October. It's the first player-of-the-month honor of his career.
The ninth-year pro was named NFC defensive player of the week as a member of the Detroit Lions after he notched two sacks and forced two fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown, versus the Denver Broncos on Oct. 30, 2011.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson, who accounted for 171 total yards versus Seattle in a 6-6 tie on Oct. 23, was named NFC offensive player of the month, while Atlanta kicker Matt Bryant took the special-teams award. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Buffalo Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri won the AFC's awards for offensive, defensive and special-teams players, respectively.
Avril is putting together what could be the best season of his rock-solid career. In addition to the sacks, Avril has 22 combined tackles (five for loss), 13 quarterback hits, three passes defended and three forced fumbles.
Since joining Seattle as a free agent ahead of the 2013 season, Avril has averaged seven sacks and three forced fumbles per season. Since ascending to the starting lineup along with Michael Bennett in 2014, the duo have been among the league's most potent pass-rush and run-stopping defensive end pairings in the NFL.
For his career, the 2008 third-round pick out of Purdue has 69 sacks (good for 15th among active players), 28 forced fumbles and 32 passes defensed.
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