Matt Ryan’s Next Challenge: Robert Griffin III

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who had led the team to a 4-0 record going into Sunday’s game at the Washington Redskins, was named NFC Offensive player of the month for the month of September by the NFL. He starts October going against hot Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Ryan completed 102 of 147 pass attempts (69.4 percent) for 1,162 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions for an NFL-best 112.1 quarterback rating through the first month of the season.

The Falcons’ 4-0 start is the best since 2004 and just their third 4-0 start in franchise history (1986, 2004 and 2012).

Against Carolina, Ryan led the Falcons on a game-winning drive with just 59 seconds remaining in a 30-28 win at the Georgia Dome. He’s also won head-to-head battles with Kansas City’s Matt Cassel, Denver’s Peyton Manning and San Diego’s Philip Rivers.

Ryan’s 11 touchdown passes and 69.4 completion percentage both rank second in the NFL, while his 102 completions rank fifth.

Ryan’s 1,162 passing yards rank sixth in the NFL through four weeks. He is currently on pace for career highs in touchdowns, yards, completions and attempts.

This is the third time in his career that Ryan has earned player of the month honors. He won the award for the month of October during his rookie season in 2008 and again in November of 2010 during his first Pro Bowl campaign. Ryan is the only player in franchise history to earn player of the month honors three times.

Sunday, he and his cohorts travel to D.C. face Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who has his team at 2-2. Griffin has been solid as a quarterback and outstanding as a leader. But the Redskins have lost seven straight games at home. Clearly, their 95,000-seat FedEx Stadium has not been the home-field advantage old RFK Stadium was.

Worse, their pass defense is atrocious, meaning Ryan just might add to his gaudy numbers in a big way — especially if the Redskins do not get a consistent pass rush against him.


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