The NFL announced its players of the month for September on Thursday, and the early leader for most valuable player headlines the group.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was tabbed NFC Offensive Player of the Month after powering his team to a 4-0 start. He leads the league with a 112.1 passer rating, is No. 2 in touchdown passes (11) and completion percentage (69.4), No. 6 in yards (1,162) and has thrown just two interceptions. Ryan has lived up to the hype that expected him to take a significant step in production.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has been nearly unblockable through the first month of the season. He was the AFC's defensive honoree with a league-high 7.5 sacks. Watt is on pace for 30 sacks, which would set the NFL record, and has made everyone in Texas forget about Mario Williams.
The surprise of the group is Tennessee Titans receiver Darius Reynaud, the AFC special teams honoree. The Titans aren't winning many awards with a 1-3 record, but Reynaud leads the league with 408 kick-return yards, including a 105-yard touchdown and 11 of 15 for 20-plus yards.Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.