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Cushing receives NFL Rookie of the Week nomination


Linebacker Brian Cushing keeps making big plays and raising eyebrows for how quickly he's asserting himself in the NFL. The rookie first-round pick from the University of Southern California leads the Texans with 48 tackles.

In the Week 6 win over Cincinnati, Cushing collected nine tackles, forced two fumbles and intercepted a pass from quarterback Carson Palmer to seal the 28-17 victory. His performance earned him his second Pepsi Rookie of the Week nomination this year. He also earned a nomination in Week 2 after totaling a team-high 10 tackles, including two for a loss, and one pass defensed in the Texans' 34-31 win at Tennessee.

{QUOTE}"He's just a playmaker," coach Gary Kubiak said of Cushing. "He's very sound in what's he's doing. He studies football very well. He diagnoses things, like he got beat on the play he ends up intercepting, he was kind of out of position on that same play earlier in the game. He comes back, makes the play. When you get in crunch time, he tends to make even more plays. He's playing like a veteran, playing like a four- or five-year player right now."

Cushing expects a lot from himself.

"My job is to go out there and make plays," he said Sunday after the win. "(The Bengals) are a downhill-running team. I had the opportunity to force fumbles and make an interception when they had to fire away at us."

Voting for Pepsi Rookie of the Week is open until Friday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m. CT.

Other nominees include: Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd, Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop.

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