Anthony Cosenza's MVP:
"MVP: Jermaine Gresham. The big man showed up huge on Sunday. He had a couple of great grabs that he took away from defenders and had the lone touchdown reception of the day, which was huge to the comeback. The Bengals found clever ways to line him up and disguise him--on the TD grab, he was lined up outside as a wide receiver. He also had a couple of great downfield blocks on some of Cedric Benson's long runs. Great job by Gresham in this game."
- Gresham was a big factor in the Bengals Week 12 win over the Browns. He not only had his second-best game of the season but he was used to stretch the field a little too. His blocking was solid as well. If Gresham continues to play that well, the Bengals will have one of the best tight ends in the league.
Dave Wellman's MVP:
"MVP: A.J. Green. His 51-yard catch-and-run was another one of those "unicorn" moments that leaves you spending the next ten minutes cranking your jaw off the floor. Credit Andy Dalton with getting the ball into Mr. Green's Neighborhood while a Cleveland defender had his mitt plastered across his facemask, but no other receiver on the team -- and few others in the league -- would have been able to go get that throw. Honorable mention: Cleveland Browns WR Greg Little. If doesn't drop about six passes Sunday, the Bengals are 6-5 today."
- Green truly looks like the real deal and it's scary to think that he's just going to get better. Well, not scary to me, but it should be scary to other teams. He's the all-in-one receiver. He can stretch the field, catch the ball in traffic and go up and get the jump balls. I couldn't be happier with the team's No. 4 overall pick.
Joe Goodberry's MVP:
"MVP: Cedric Benson: Was that the same guy who's been carrying the load for the Bengals the last two years? That was as hard and as angry as I've seen Cedric Benson run since mid-2009. He looked like a starting NFL running back. He made people miss, he broke tackles and he broke off a few momentum shifting type runs. Benson would've run for more than 200 yards if the game allowed. Instead the Bengals were behind and were forced to pass the ball. Even then, Benson was a contributor in the passing game. It was a complete performance by Benson and hopefully he keeps it up when the Bengals need him most during this playoff run."
- Benson definitely played angry against the Browns. He ran hard and he had one of his best games of the season. If he continues to play the way he did in Week 12, the Bengals have a much better chance of making the playoffs than they would if he was unable to make plays by himself.
Anthony Cosenza's Goat:
"Goat: Jerome Simpson. It's feast or famine with this guy. It's almost like he feels that he can take the day off with A.J. Green back in the lineup or with other guys making plays. He had a holding penalty that negated a big run and had only two catches for 15 yards, along with what's becoming his trademark: dropping a pass right in his hands. He's going to have to pick his game up to take some pressure off of Green down the stretch."
- It's amazing to me how Simpson can have an amazing game against the Ravens and then turn right around and disappear against the Browns. But, that's been the story of his career, or at least his career since he's been a starting wide receiver for the team. Having one good week and then two bad weeks is not the way to convince the coaching staff that he should be re-signed at the end of his contract year.
Dave Wellman's Goat:
"Goat: The Bengals' offensive line. Once again, the starting unit struggled to find any consistency in pass protection or the run game. One play Cedric Benson had all kinds of holes, the next they're on the goal line and can't find a yard. Andre Smith in particular had a horrible first half, though he firmed up after halftime, and Dalton was getting pressure up the middle all day, forcing him to scramble. There is a growing contingent of Bengals fans calling for the team to use both its first-round picks next April on offensive linemen, and games like this are only going to make their calls louder."
- The offensive line played well on one play but when the coaching staff decided to go for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal, they disappeared. It reminded me of how they disappeared when it mattered most at the end of the Ravens game. The Bengals have some upgrades that need to be made on the offensive line in the offseason.
Joe Goodberry's Goat:
"GOAT - Nate Clements: This was Clements worst game since the Broncos game in week 2. Not really a bad game, but more like a horrible first half. Clements was seen on the ground while his man was catching passed behind him on two plays that directly led to the Browns scoring a touchdown. Maybe he just needed to change his cleats. It was raining and he is on the wrong side of 30-years old. Any loss of footing will completely erase any agility he has left at this point. Whatever it was, Clements figured it out and played better in the 2nd half. Still, his first half play singlehandedly put the Bengals into an early deficit."
- Just like the offensive line, the secondary needs to be upgraded in the offseason. And by upgraded, I actually mean overhauled. Clements was brought into Cincinnati to replace Johnathan Joseph and he was an obvious downgrade but it seemed to be okay since Leon Hall was on the other side of the field. Now it will be Clements that goes up against the top receivers. The front seven will need to be all over the quarterback to limit the bleeding in the secondary.