The Bengals are heading into week two of the NFL season and are currently getting ready for the Denver Broncos on the road. They probably aren't thinking much about their win over the Browns in week one, but that doesn't mean that we can't.
We're starting a new weekly feature here as Cincy Jungle. We're going to be picking who we feel deserves to be named the week's MVP and who has the most room to improve. To make things a little more interesting, we can't pick the same players. This week, Josh, Dave (BeerRun), Anthony and I picked who we feel should be the MVP.
Josh's MVP: Fullback Chris Pressley
"I'm going with Chris Pressley. Most of Cedric Benson's positive runs were the result of Chris Pressley knocking the first defender away at the point of attack. Without those blocks, it's unlikely Benson even hits 50 yards for the day."
Dave's MVP: Guard Clint Boling
"I'll go with Clint Boling. Why? Because I didn't hear his name all game -- which is exactly what you want from an offensive lineman. Making his first NFL start (in the first week of his rookie year with basically no offseason, no less) Boling was easily the most unsung of the three Bengals noobs (Boling, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green) going in against the Browns and was largely unnoticed in the wake of the victory. Here's to you Mr. Invisible Rookie. Keep up the good work."
Anthony's MVP: Tight End Jermaine Gresham
"Jermaine Gresham. Had some big catches and an early TD to catapult the Bengals to an early lead. He did have a drop that would have put him closer to 70-75 yards, but it's clear that he's become the number one receiving target at this point. Both QBs got him the ball and he moved the chains at critical points."
My MVP: Quarterback Andy Dalton
"We can't actually go through this whole thing and not pick Dalton, right? Even though he only played in the first half, he looked great for a rookie starting on opening day on the road in a divisional matchup. No, the Cleveland Browns aren't the Pittsburgh Steelers but that doesn't make Dalton's performance any less awesome. When he came out of the game, he had completed 10 of 15 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. He didn't turn the ball over and the only mistake came when he checked to a run on the wrong side. Other than that, he did exactly what he was asked to do: manage the game, don't turn the ball over and move the ball down the field. If we get more performances like that, the Bengals could have a pretty good season."
Josh's Player that Needs to Improve: Middle Linebacker Rey Maualuga
"Based on expectations, the fact he's the defensive leader and expected to be the team's defensive soul, Rey Maualuga."
Anthony's Player that Needs to Improve: Running Back Bernard Scott
"Barnard Scott. Fans clamored for him to have a bigger role this year and Jay Gruden gave him a couple of drives as the primary running back and he didn't take advantage. He lost his job as the kick returner to Brandon Tate, so he needs to make plays on offense when he's in."
My Player that Needs to Improve: Running Back Cedric Benson
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. The guy had 121 yards and a touchdown and he had a 4.8 yard per carry average. That's all well and good, but what happens if we take away that last 39-yard run? We get 24 carries for 82 yards and no touchdowns and a 3.4 yards per carry average. That's not good enough. If this team is going to succeed, Benson needs to be back in 2009 form."