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Nick Bosa among October's Players of the Month

With each passing week, the accolades for Nick Bosa continue to get bigger and bigger for all the right reasons.

In his four October starts, the San Francisco 49ers rookie defensive end totaled 16 combined tackles, six sacks, nine tackles for a loss (most in NFL) and an interception en route to being named the NFL Defensive Player and Defensive Rookie of the Month, the league announced Thursday.

Bosa's INT against the Panthers in Week 8 yielded an impressive 46-yard return, which currently stands as the longest return by a defensive lineman this season and the longest by a DL since Bruce Irvin returned one 49 yards in 2014. He also had three sacks in that game.

Bosa's incredible four weeks has been exciting to watch, and has set up the young DE for a chance to end October by making some history. On Halloween night, Bosa will line up across from a Cardinals O-line that has allowed the sixth-most sacks (27) and, if he adds at least three more, he'll surpass NFL legend Reggie White for the most sacks by a rookie in his first eight games, per NFL Research. Just another example of how scary Bosa has been in a month known for nightmares.

Here are the other award winners for October:

NFC

Offensive Player of the Month: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

After a slow start to the season -- 64-of-99, 735 yards, three TDs, and two INTs in September -- Cousins has scorched opposing secondaries since Week 5.

Cousins led the NFL with a 137.1 passer rating and a 78.4-percent completion rate (91-of-116) in October while enjoying a four-game winning streak. His 10 touchdowns was tied for most in the league and his 1,261 passing yards tied for the second-most this month.

This is Cousins' second career POTM honor; his last came in 2016 when he was a member of the Washington Redskins.

Special Teams Player of the Month: Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez

At 3-4-1, the Cards are trending in the right direction, and Gonzalez was a major bright spot throughout the month.

The 24-year-old kicker converted 11 of his 12 field goal attempts (91.7-percent) and went a perfect 9-of-9 on extra points to lead the league in points (42). He also nailed a 31-yarder to propel the Cards to a 26-23 victory over the Bengals. Not a bad month at all.

AFC

Offensive Player of the Month: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson

In addition to Jon Gruden comparing him to Michael Jordan after his clutch Week 8 performance, it was a headline-worthy month for Watson, who led the AFC with 1,293 passing yards and 10 TDs.

From his incredible, one-eyed TD pass to seal a close win over Gruden's Raiders to throwing for 426 yards and five TDs against the Falcons in Week 5 to out dueling September's AFC POTM Patrick Mahomes in a Week 6 win, Watson staked his claim as an MVP candidate with his sensational play.

The franchise cornerstone also ranked second among AFC QBs in passer rating (110.6) and completions (108), as well as third in the NFL in completion percentage (73.0 percent).

This is Watson's second AFC Offensive Player of the Month honor; he earned the distinction, along with the Offensive Rookie of the Month honor, in October, 2017.

Defensive Player of the Month: Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore

The Patriots have been great in all areas this season, so for Gilmore to stand out, he would've had to have done something pretty special, which he did.

As the pulse of New England's smothering secondary, Gilmore led the NFL with seven pass deflections and recorded two picks. The Pats secondary gave up just two passing TDs all month.

In Week 6 and 7, Gilmore allowed a 0.0 passer rating when targeted as the nearest defender, according to Next Gen Stats. In the Week 8 win over the Browns, Gilmore shadowed Odell Beckham Jr. on all 24 snaps in the first half and limited him to just four receptions for 21 yards on four targets (he was the nearest defender on three of the four targets), per Next Gen.

While this is his first Player of the Month award, Gilmore has been one of the league's best defensive backs for the past few seasons, something he continues to prove week in and week out for the undefeated Patriots.

Special Teams Player of the Month: Ravens kicker Justin Tucker

Few things are as sure as Tucker's leg, and the veteran kicker was his usual self all month.

He made all 10 of his FG attempts and all seven of his extra points for a total of 37 points. Four of his makes were between 40-49 yards, including longs of 48 and 49. He lifted Baltimore to a 26-23 win over their archrival Steelers in Week 5 after making a 46-yarder in overtime.

Offensive Rookie of the Month: Raiders running back Josh Jacobs

To begin October, Jacobs capitalized on his strong September to break Hall of Famer Marcus Allen's franchise record for most rushing yards by a Raiders rookie running back after five games; Jacobs chipped in 123 yards in the Raiders' win over the Bears in London.

From then on, the rookie has flat out balled out, posting 313 rushing yards and two TDs to go with eight receptions for 45 yards. He is also first in scrimmage yards (358) among rookies.

Unfortunately for Jacobs, Oakland went 1-2 in the month, but his individual talent still shined through. He's one of eight RBs -- and the only rookie -- to post 100-plus rushing yards in back-to-back games this season, both of which came this month (Weeks 5 and 7).

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