Earlier this week,
wine Falcoholic writer Kendall Jackson gave the impressive Devonta Freeman the most surprising player award. Quality selection, considering how good Freeman looked in the starting running back spot.
Who has been Atlanta's most valuable player after only four games? A lot of familiar names are in this discussion. Matt Ryan has looked like a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense. He is on pace for over 4,800 passing yards and currently has the highest QB rating of his career.
Were it not for Devonta Freeman scoring touchdowns at will, Ryan may have earned the MVP award. Freeman would be a logical pick if he averaged more than two yards per carry in the first two games. He has crushed the last two weeks, but is not quite the team's MVP.
Desmond Trufant is having a predictably epic season. He is often forgotten because he has rarely been tested this season. He is quickly becoming Atlanta's Darrelle Revis, locking down one side of the field. His play is a major reason the defense has looked so impressive.
I gave serious consideration to Jake Matthews. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the 5th best left tackle in the league. After his injury-plagued rookie year, Matthews has given up zero sacks and zero quarterback hits across nearly 300 offensive snaps. For comparison purposes, Sam Baker gave up one sack and seven quarterback hits across his last 190 snaps. What Matthews has done demands attention. The offensive line has been a strength for this team, and Matthews is a big part of that turnaround.
As usual, the most valuable player award goes to Quintorris Lopez Jones. Julio has been the "X Factor" for this team, and has looked like the best wide receiver in the league. He has been dominating double teams. The only thing that has been able to stop Julio this season is a gigantic lead that sent him to the bench.
The Falcons operate at another level when Julio is in the lineup. That makes Julio the team's MVP through the first four games of the season.