This is the third weekly installment of "Cincy Jungle's Unsung Hero of the Week Award". In case you've missed it, this is an award that is given out to a Bengals player whose accomplishments in the past week's game may not have been as obvious as other MVP candidates. They are heavy contributors to the team's overall effort, but are often overlooked due to the position they play or the more noticed play of another teammate.
In the first installment, we named rookie guard Clint Boling as the Week One winner, and we gave the second week's award to Andre Caldwell. I mentioned in the second week's article that an award like "Most Valuable Player" or "Unsung Hero" is difficult to give after a loss and this week proved difficult once again. There weren't many positives coming out of the loss to the 49ers, but we managed to get a few nominees. Since the defensive play was far superior to the offense's, most of the nominees came from that group.
So, why would he win this award over our weekly MVP award? A couple of reasons. First, Rucker also had some boneheaded penalties that hurt the team on Sunday. In limited play, he shouldn't have those types of negative plays. Speaking of "limited play", it leads to the second reason we awarded Rucker as the unsung hero--he was a rotational player and his play was overlooked by other fellow starting defensive lineman. Regardless, Rucker has contributed to the Bengals defense being ranked No.3 overall.
Some other nominees included: defensive linemen Jonathan Fanene and Michael Johnson, wide receiver Andre Caldwell, safety Reggie Nelson, kicker Mike Nugent, and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. Cast your vote and/or sound off about this week's award.