Sep 19, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) is tackled by Kansas City Chiefs players Derrick Johnson (56), Justin Houston (50) and Kendrick Lewis (23) at Lincoln Financial Field. The Chiefs defeated the Eagles 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Houston Named AFC Defensive Player of the Month, Credits Tamba Hali

It was a perfect month for the Kansas City Chiefs in September, and Justin Houston agrees.

The NFL named Houston the AFC Defensive Player of the Month after his excellent start to the season. Houston is the co-NFL leader in sacks with 7.5 and was twice named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. He is the first Chiefs linebacker to receive the award since Derrick Thomas won it in 1997.

Houston was very pleased about the award but was sure to single out Tamba Hali as part of the reason why he was so successful last month. Here’s what he told Terez Paylor.

“[Hali is] the reason why my career has improved so much,” Houston said. “He taught me pretty much everything I know in the pass rushing game, he taught me how to rush the tackles, how to read the tackles. The pass rush, it was all him. … My rookie season, he taught me that pass rush was a game within the game, so once you figure that out it will help out a lot.”

The pass rushing duo of Hali and Houston have been key to the Chiefs 4-0 start. Sports Illustrated’s lists Hali and Houston as two of the top 10 best outside pass rushers in the game so far this season, with Houston ranking fourth and Hali in a tie for eighth. Hali’s 23 hurries and Houston’s 13 rank one and two in the NFL.

Also, Dexter McCluster won the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his 89-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Tags: Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Tamba Hali

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