This month's games have made it harder and harder for me to nominate possible winners for this award. None of us around here are fond of "moral victories", and it has forced us to find them with the Bengals winning only one of their last four. Sunday's embarrassment against the Steelers has made this the hardest edition of this weekly feature. We're resourceful, so we're still going to give it a shot.
For those of you living under a rock, this award is given to a player whose efforts and accomplishments were overlooked in the wake of another player's performance. There are a number of things we look at for nominees and winners of this award. It can be anything from having an outstanding day blocking up front, to stepping in admirably for an injured player. None of our weekly MVP or Game Ball candidates are eligible for this award.
So, painfully, here are the nominees for Cincy Jungle's prestigious "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" for week 13--grin and bear it:
First, I thought about giving this award to offensive lineman Anthony Collins. When Andre Smith went down with an injury, Collins stepped in and played well against the stellar Steeler defense. He played so well, in fact, that many fans are wondering why he hasn't been in the starting lineup this season. on top of that, Collins actually lined up as a defensive tackle on one particular goal line But, with Josh stealing my thunder and already giving him the Game Ball nod, I can't give him this award as well.
The cynic in me then looked at Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin. Why on Earth would I even think of doing this? It really would only be for the reason of pulling quarterback Ben Roethlisberger out of the game with quite a bit of time left in the fourth quarter in an effort to stop the bleeding and show the Bengals some mercy. Though he still had Ben passing the ball when the game was way out of hand, he did show some good sportsmanship later by becoming very conservative with his play calling. But, giving an award to anybody associated with the Steelers is sacrilege and I refuse to do it.
So, I give this week's "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" to Bengals punter, Kevin Huber. After all, in a 35-7 drubbing, the punter had to have a good game, right? Huber kept the Bengals in the game early on, when "playing the field position battle" still mattered. He had a 45.7 yard average on his punts and dropped four or seven inside the 20-yard line. The only gaffe of his on the day was the back-breaking punt return touchdown, though I give him a pass on it because the referees missed a blatant block in the back that should have negated the return.
Who gets your vote for this week's "Unsung Hero of the Week Award"?