Kicker RYAN LONGWELL of the Green Bay Packers, quarterback DAUNTE CULPEPPER of the Minnesota Vikings and cornerback LITO SHEPPARD of the Philadelphia Eagles, and are the NFC Special Teams, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Month for October, the NFL announced Thursday.
SPECIAL TEAMS: K RYAN LONGWELL, GREEN BAY PACKERS
Longwell helped the Packers to a 3-2 record in October, as the team rebounded from a 1-4 start with three consecutive victories. He connected on seven of seven field goals in the month, including two of two from 50 yards and beyond, and 16 of 16 extra points for 37 total points. The Packers ended a four-game losing streak on October 17 with a 38-10 road-win against Detroit. After the Lions drew to within 14-10 in the second quarter, Longwell connected on a 50-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, giving the Packers a seven-point advantage they would never relinquish. Longwell then contributed two field goals each in back-to-back wins over the NFC East's Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
In his eighth year from California, this is Longwell's second career Player of the Month Award. He was first honored in September of 2002.
OFFENSE: QB DAUNTE CULPEPPER, MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Culpepper led Minnesota to a 3-1 record in October as the 5-2 Vikings sit alone in first place in the NFC North. The two-time All-Star completed 69.6 percent of his pass attempts (110 of 158) for 1,235 yards, 12 touchdowns versus four interceptions, posting a 106.8 passer rating in the month. Culpepper began October with consecutive five-touchdown pass games, becoming the first player in NFL history with three such games in a single season, leading Minnesota to a 34-28 win at Houston in Week 5 and a 38-31 win at New Orleans in Week 6. Culpepper completed a career-high 80.0 percent of his pass attempts (24 of 30) in a 20-3 win over Tennessee on October 24, passing for 183 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 308.8 passing yards per game during the month and leads the NFL with a 133.0 third down passer rating.
In his sixth season from Central Florida, this is Culpepper's second career Player of the Month Award. He first earned the honor in September of 2003.
DEFENSE: CB LITO SHEPPARD, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Sheppard played a key role on an Eagles defense that surrendered 10 points or less in three of four October games, earning a perfect 4-0 record in the month en route to the first 7-0 start in franchise history. Sheppard posted 25 tackles, three interceptions, 1.0 sack and four passes defensed in October. In a 19-9 win at Chicago in Week 4, he notched his first career sack and posted four tackles as the Eagles yielded 192 total yards. Then in a 30-8 Week 6 victory over Carolina, Sheppard had a career-high two interceptions, returning one 64 yards for a touchdown. He recorded another interception the following week against Cleveland, ending a Browns possession on the Philadelphia four-yard line as the Eagles captured a 34-31 overtime win.
In his third season from Florida, this is Sheppard's first Player of the Month Award.
2004 NFC PLAYERS OF THE MONTH
QB Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia
DE Patrick Kerney, Atlanta
KR Eddie Drummond, Detroit
QB Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota
CB Lito Sheppard, Philadelphia
K Ryan Longwell, Green Bay