BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 20: Jerome Simpson #89 of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a catch against Cary Williams #29 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens lead the Bengals 14-7 at the half. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Even though our Game Ball of the Week sponsorship has expired, we're still going to spend time honoring the players of the week, no matter how absurd it is handing out an MVP award for a game in which the Cincinnati Bengals lost. But we're absurd by nature -- if for anything our complete obsession with a professional sports team.
During our keys against Baltimore on Saturday, we adamantly promoted Jerome Simpson as someone that needed to step up in wake of A.J. Green's knee injury. In the three games preceding Cincinnati's 31-24 loss to the Ravens, Simpson was targeted a combined 16 times with only four receptions for 57 yards receiving. And in his most recent outing against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Simpson failed to post a single reception.
It's safe to say that Jerome Simpson most definitely answered the call. With 11:48 remaining in the first quarter, Dalton targeted Simpson on a vertical down the left sidelines. After initially bobbling the football, Simpson hauled in the 47-yard reception. Five plays later Cedric Benson gave the Bengals an early 7-0 lead.
With 1:35 remaining in the game, down by seven points, Dalton once again launched the football down the left sidelines. Simpson caught the football, posting a 43-yard gain that provided Cincinnati four shots at the endzone from Baltimore's seven-yard line to tie the game. It didn't happen, but then Simpson wasn't a target either. Am I right? (No, not really).
Simpson posted a team-high eight receptions for 152 yards receiving Sunday afternoon as Dalton's primary target. Simpson's 152 yards receiving is the most by any Bengals player since Terrell Owens recorded 222 yards receiving against the Cleveland Browns on October 3 last season.
Week Two Against Denver: Quarterback Andy Dalton
Week Three Against San Francisco: Defensive End Jonathan Fanene
Week Four Against Buffalo: Place Kicker Mike Nugent
Week Five Against Jacksonville: Tight End Jermaine Gresham
Week Six Against Indianapolis: Quarterback Andy Dalton
Week Seven (Bye Week): Bengals Owner Mike Brown
Week Eight Against Seattle: Defensive End Carlos Dunlap
Week Nine Against Pittsburgh: Linebacker Manny Lawson
No week one game ball was handed out.