CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Frostee Rucker #92 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. San Francisco defeated Cincinnati 13-8. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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.Even though he was also voted for as one of the Week Three Most Valuable Players by us at Cincy Jungle, it's been decided that Frostee Rucker is this week's recipient of the "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" winner. Rucker was a disruptive force on Sunday against the 49ers, sacking Alex Smith and making a number of plays in his limited role. Rucker again proved why he's continued to make the roster since arriving in Cincinnati, as his versatility along the defensive line was on display and contributed to the Bengals' five sacks of Smith.
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.
Who gets your vote for the Week 3 "Unsung Hero of the Week Award"?
Frostee Rucker (38 votes)
Jonathan Fanene (54 votes)
Andrew Whitworth (2 votes)
Mike Nugent (8 votes)
Andre Caldwell (5 votes)
Michael Johnson (11 votes)
Reggie Nelson (9 votes)
127 total votes