Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/5/12

It’s hard to believe that the NFL season has already hit October.  We’ve had 4 and a half weeks of great plays, bad calls, horrible replacement refs and a New York Jets team that should go into hibernation until 2013 Rookie Mini Camp.  However I think we need to focus on the positives of this season thus far.  Thus, here are my 2012 1st Quarter Offensive Awards:

2012 NFL Offensive Play of the Year Award: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan has brought his game to a whole new level so far this year.  His 69.4 completion percentage is second in the NFL to Aaron Rodgers.  He leads the league in QB rating (112.1) and is second in the NFL in touchdowns with 11.

However Ryan goes even farther than his statistics.  The Atlanta Falcons are 4-0 thanks to his clutch throws.  (None of which were greater than his 60-yard completion in the final two minutes of the Atlanta and Carolina game.)

Ryan has always been a good regular season QB.  He made the playoffs in his rookie year and has brought a great sense of winning back to Atlanta after the Michael Vick debacle.  He’s putting up numbers that would put him in the company of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady if his stats keep up the pace.  There is no doubt in my mind he’s been the best offensive player for the 1st quarter of the 2012 NFL season.

2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: RG3, QB, Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III (RG3) has been providing a great spark for fans in the DC area.  We all knew the former Heisman trophy winner would be a great NFL player someday, but I don’t think we realized just how soon “someday” would come.  He’s currently tied with Atlanta QB Matt Ryan for the second best completion percentage in the league. (69.4%) He’s also been efficient in both passing and rushing the football. 

RG3 has 1,070 passing yards and a QB rating of 103.2.  He’s also rushed for 234 yards on 41 carries. (That’s an average of 5.7 rushes per carry.)  And to top that off, he’s also rushed for 4 Touchdowns which is tied for the most in the league. 

There is another Washington rookie that would have been my choice for offensive rookie of the year had RG3 not been around.  His name is Alfred Morris.  Morris was 6th round draft pick of the Redskins out of last year’s draft.  Usually fans do not see 6th round picks making a major impact in the NFL, yet this young man has been the exception to the rule.  The 5 foot 10 running back out of Florida Atlantic has rushed for 376 yards on 82 carries. (An average of 4.6 yards per carry.)  He also has scored four rushing TD’s which is tied for the best in the NFL along with Texans Running back Arian Foster and teammate Robert Griffin III. 

Though not a household name, expect Morris to be a big contributor for Washington this season.

2012 NFL MVP: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite only playing three games due to an early bye week, Ben Roethlisberger has proven to be the most valuable player in the NFL thus far.  He is leading a Steelers team that has had major injuries plague their all pro defense. Big Ben has stepped up his game and his leadership at the QB position.  Despite the losses to Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Week 1 and to Carson Palmer and the Raiders in Week 3, Roethlisberger has raised his game to a higher level.

This season the Steelers QB has averaged over 300 yards per game.  He’s thrown for 8 touchdowns, compared to only 1 interception.  He has the second best QB rating in the league at 109.3 and has completed 68% of his passes. 

In the Steelers last game against Oakland, Roethlisberger threw for 384 and 4 touchdowns against Oakland in a game that the Steelers would’ve won if they had their regular defensive starters.  Pittsburgh has no legitimate running game and needs Big Ben to put up great stats week in and week out.  This picked might sound controversial, but I am basing it off of the words “Most Valuable Player”.  There is no more valuable player to a team right now than Ben Roethlisberger for the Pittsburgh Steelers.



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