The last two months of Bengals football might be the wackiest stretch of football in this team's history. There have been games that have resulted in maddeningly close losses, a blowout, a come-from-behind victory and two victories that were closer than they should have been. Last week's game against the Rams personified the latter.
Jason already posted all of our MVP picks for last Sunday's game and to be honest, it's going to difficult to come up with a player for this week's "Unsung Hero of the Week Award". There just weren't that many contributors to the win this week, which is quite a change from the "success by committee" mentality the team has embraced all season.
Again, for this award we try to hand it out to a player whose contributions may have been overlooked. We do not include any weekly MVP picks or Game Ball award winners for this award either. Another name for this award could be "The Behind the Scenes Award". Since I've seemed to have run this weekly posting as that of a dictator, I'm going to make this week's edition a little different. Instead of having me name the winner and allowing your votes and comments, I'm going to let you all vote and have the final say on the winner based on the poll results and comments.
Here are some of the nominees that I felt deserved the award--feel free to choose from these or another player you deem fitting as the winner:The first player that stuck out was actually a group of players--the kickoff coverage unit played very well on Sunday. Mike Nugent didn't kick the ball far enough to have any touchbacks, but that didn't have any effect on the coverage unit, as they rarely allowed the speedy Jerious Norwood to get past the fifteen yard-line on most occasions. This was key, as the Rams offense was reeling coming into the game due to injuries and an overall lack of productivity. The Rams were frequently put in bad field position and that directly contributed to them struggling to put points on the board.
The perennial nominee for this award, Anthony Collins, turned in another solid effort in his second start this season. Relieving the injured Andre Smith, Collins held Rams defensive end Chris Long in check for most of the game. His only two hiccups were letting up one sack against Long, as well as having a penalty against him. Not a bad Sunday against a Pro Bowl defensive end, but was that enough to win the award?
Another player who made some plays to contribute to the win was Bernard Scott. Though he only managed twenty yards on seven carries, he had the game-sealing touchdown run late in the game. Neither he or Cedric Benson had much room to run on Sunday, but Scott still managed to make some plays and the touchdown was big.
The last group that I had pointed to as big contributors to the victory were the referees. Over the past few weeks, we here at Cincy Jungle have made it known that we don't like to point out the referees as an excuse for the outcome of the game. But, Jerome Boger's officiating crew really helped the Bengals' cause on Sunday and we've got to give a tip to the cap to them, as these types of calls rarely seem to go Cincinnati's way. A phantom pass interference call on A.J.Green and two missed hit to the head on the quarterback calls were crucial rulings in the game. When the Bengals had the ball late in the game, other penalties of the personal foul ilk were called against the Rams helping to seal the victory (that's not to say that those weren't deserving calls, either).
It's your turn. Who gets your vote for the "Unsung Hero of the Week" for week 15?