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Bengals' Andy Dalton highlights Players of the Month

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Two months into the 2015 season, and Andy Dalton remains a fireball under center in the AFC North.

The Cincinnati Bengals quarterback has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for his undefeated mark in October. He was perfect in September, too.

Through six games for Cincy, Dalton has achieved career bests in completion percentage (67.4), passing yards per game (293.5), touchdown-to-interception ratio (14-2) and passer rating (116.1). He also leads the entire NFL in yards per attempt (9.1), quarterback rating and passes of 25-plus yards (19). That last measurement is why we believe in Dalton this season: He's playing with newfound confidence and lofting the ball aggressively downfield to a talented list of pass-catchers. The edgier, product-infused mane doesn't hurt, but Dalton is proving that his ceiling is higher than first believed.

The Falcons house the NFC's Offensive Player of the Month for the second time in a row. After wideout Julio Jones won the award in September, running back Devonta Freeman was crowned for October. Freeman leads the league in rushing yards (621) and his NFL-best 10 touchdowns are four more than the next closest player.

Other October winners:

AFC


Defense: Safety Charles Woodson, Oakland Raiders

Woodson is aging like a glorious red wine. The 39-year-old Raiders safety followed up his one-pick September with three game-changing interceptions in October -- including two off Peyton Manning. He's been a reliable backstop for this developing Raiders defense.

Special Teams: K Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos

Heading into Week 7, McManus had scored more points (61) than Denver's offense (54). Nailing 10 of 11 field goals in October, he was money in the bank all month for the Broncos.

Pro Bowl ballot

NFC


Defense: DT Kawann Short, Carolina Panthers

As part of a rock-solid defense that hasn't allowed more than 23 points in a game all season, Short is Carolina's second straight Defensive Player of the Month after cornerback Josh Norman was named September's winner. Short deserves it after piling up five sacks in wins over the Seahawks and Eagles.

Special Teams: P Johnny Hekker, St. Louis Rams

Coming off Sunday's 48-yard net average against the Browns, Hekker earned special teams honors in the NFL for another outstanding month of work. He's a versatile contributor to the St. Louis special teams effort because the man can also wing it!

Rookies


Offense: RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams

This is a comprehensive no-brainer after Gurley ripped off three straight 100-yard games and became the first rookie with 125-plus rushing yards in three straight tilts since Cadillac Williams in 2005. He's a serious candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Defense: LB Eric Kendricks, Minnesota Vikings

Coming off Sunday's performance of six tackles, two sacks and three tackles for a loss against the Lions, Kendricks was handed defensive rookie honors. His four sacks on the year have been huge for Minnesota's young defense.

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