Choosing Players of the Month in the NFL is always extremely tough. With the wide swings that we see week to week in performance, picking just one player at each position is not an easy task. Here are Pro Football Network’s NFL Players of the Month for September 2021.
NFL Players of the Month
Which NFL players have stood out in September and taken home our various Player of the Month awards?
Quarterback | Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks may very well be 1-2 to start the season, but the blame cannot really be laid at the feet of Russell Wilson. The Seahawks QB has earned himself a spot amongst our Players of the Month with his all-around performance.
Wilson’s 73.3% completion rate ranks seventh, his 8.1% touchdown rate ranks fourth, and he leads the position in yards per attempt at 10.4. He has all of these numbers despite an 8.5% sack rate, which ranks as the sixth-highest among QBs with three starts. Through all of that, he has not yet thrown a single interception.
Wilson narrowly edges out the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater, and Tyrod Taylor for the quarterback award in our NFL Players of the Month. He leads all players at the position through three weeks in Pro Football Network’s Offensive Value Metric. OVM removes the surrounding factors in a player’s performance and focuses on what he specifically brings to the offense.
Offense | Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
There were several impressive performances this season, but Cooper Kupp stands above and beyond the rest of the skill-position players to win the NFL Offensive Player of the Month award. Kupp ranks third in scrimmage yards (362), behind only Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry. He’s also tied for first in total touchdowns (5) with Aaron Jones.
Yet, what’s so impressive with Kupp is the consistency with which he has performed. In Week 1, he had 7 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Then, in Week 2, he racked up 163 yards on 9 receptions from 11 targets and scored 2 touchdowns. In Week 3, he had a 96-yard performance on 9 receptions and scored 2 more touchdowns on 12 targets.
Kupp has had more than a third of the Rams’ receiving yards and 200 more yards than any other receiver on his team. He has immediately become Stafford’s go-to receiving option.
Defense | Trevon Diggs, CB, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys’ defense was much-maligned last season, and rightly so. However, Trevon Diggs was a rare bright spot, allowing just a 54.8% completion rate. Unfortunately, he allowed 5 touchdowns to be scored on him, which somewhat blighted his numbers.
Nevertheless, Diggs has been superb so far this season. His 3 interceptions match last season’s total, and he’s tied for the league lead. He also found the end zone on one of those interceptions. On 12 targets, he has allowed just a 50% completion rate and has a QB rating allowed of 35.8. He has done this while covering the likes of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and DeVonta Smith.
Diggs narrowly takes the NFL Defensive Player of the Month award over Chandler Jones, Bobby Wagner, and Myles Garrett.
Other NFL Players of the Month awards for September
Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas Cowboys
Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals
12 tackles, 12 QB hits, 5 sacks, 5 TFL
2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery
Bobby Wagner, LB, Seattle Seahawks
44 tackles, 26 solo tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL
3 QB hits, and 1 pass defensed
NFL Rookies of the Month
Here are the two rookies who have stood out the most in the first month of the season. To see how all of the 2021 NFL Draft class has stacked up so far in their debut season, check out our Week 4 rookie rankings.
Offense | Rashawn Slater, OT, Los Angeles Chargers
Rashawn Slater received a baptism of fire in his rookie NFL season, and the way he has handled it immediately makes him one of our Players of the Month among the rookies on show. His first game saw him face Chase Young and Montez Sweat.
The following matchups were not all that tough. But even so, to have only allowed 1 QB hit and 5 total pressures as a rookie starting left tackle is impressive all the same.
Defense | Greg Newsome, CB, Cleveland Browns
There has been a lot to like about Greg Newsome’s play through three weeks. He has allowed a 55.6% completion rate and a QB rating allowed of just 67.8. What is equally impressive is that Newsome’s only been targeted 9 times this season through three games.
Despite playing within a talented secondary and opposite Denzel Ward, teams are not going at Newsome. That is a big indication of just how respected he is around the NFL. He got injured against the Bears, but hopefully, we see him back on the field soon.