The first month of the 2023 NFL season is officially in the books. September has beheld the best, the worst, and everything in between for 2023. For those players who have struggled so far, they will look to dedicate the next few weeks to turn things around for their respective organizations. As for those who have had strong starts to 2023, they look to remain ahead of the pack.
Here are LWOSports’ NFL Players of the Month for September.
For intents and purposes, we will be including their efforts from Week 4 as well, even though most teams played on October 1st. In addition, we will not be including rookies, for that will be a list for another day. Plus, we will be including our runner-up for each accolade.
NFL Players of the Month for September
Offensive Player of the Month: Christian McCaffrey
The San Francisco 49ers are one of only two teams in the league that remain undefeated after four weeks, in no small part due to Christian McCaffrey. RUN C-M-C currently leads the NFL in rushing yards and is co-leader in rushing touchdowns. He also has 147 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown to his name.
If he keeps the momentum running consistently, McCaffrey will be eyeing a potential MVP award-winning season. But for #23 and company, it is best for them to focus on one game at a time moving forward. They could lose their perfect record at any given time.
Runner-Up: Tua Tagovailoa
It is fair to say that no quarterback this season has gotten off to a hotter start than Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa. He currently leads all quarterbacks in passing yards and average yards per pass attempt. He also stands in the top five in quarterback rating and pass completion percentage. The chemistry he has built with his playmakers is definitely a sight to behold.
Tagovailoa, along with the rest of the Dolphins squad, should not let the Week 4, 20-48 defeat at the hands of Buffalo bum him out too much. But this team ought to learn some valuable lessons in their journey back to the postseason.
Defensive Player of the Month: T.J. Watt
It should come to nobody’s surprise that Pittsburgh Steeler, T.J. Watt, regularly gets name-dropped as among the elite pass-rushers in the game. Watt currently co-leads the NFL in sacks and fumbles forced (both co-lead with LA Chargers’ Khalil Mack). On top of that, he has recovered two fumbles, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
But Watt has his work cut for him this season. It now falls on him to lead a defense that is not only missing star nose tackle, Cameron Heyward but is also picking up the slack for a dysfunctional offense. After losing to Houston 30-6, Watt and company will need to reconfigure on the fly.
Runner-Up: Jessie Bates III
The Atlanta Falcons have a few kinks to sort out before they can return to their winning ways and retake the NFC South. But they do have a prolific defense to build on down the line, especially their secondary.
Starting safety, Jessie Bates III, has recorded 32 total tackles and three interceptions so far this season. Throw in a couple of forced fumbles, and Bates has a Pro-Bowl-worthy season in the making. As Atlanta addresses their offensive woes, Bates will need to dive deeper into his leadership role in order to keep offensive coordinators weary of the Falcons’ secondary.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Jake Elliott
Philadelphia Eagles fans have plenty to be excited about as 2023 carries on. The Eagles have yet to lose one game in 2023. Three of their four wins this season were decided by one score, and Philly has kicker, Jake Elliott, to thank for that.
This season, Elliott has made 13 field goals out of 14 attempts. Four of those successful tries came from 50 yards out or further. In addition, Elliot has yet to miss a field goal attempt while playing on the road. As the Eagles look to remain undefeated, kicker Jake Elliott continues to rise to the occasion on special teams.
Runner-Up: Jake Camarda
Not everyone in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization got the memo about 2023 being a “rebuilding year”. Not many people predicted that Tampa Bay would upset the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, let alone jump to a 3-1 start in the current campaign.
One key component to their success that few people are talking about is Buccaneers punter, Jake Camarda. Camarda is averaging 53.2 yards per punt (second-most in NFL), and nine of his 18 punts have landed inside the 20-yard line. Not to mention he has a 74-yard boot (tied for the longest punt this season) under his belt. The Bucs will no doubt look to maintain dominance over their division, while Camarda continues to spearhead Tampa Bay’s special teams.
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