It's hard to find bright spots in a stunning loss like the one we experienced Sunday, but we can't overlook the indivicual achievements of some Bengals players. There were moments that made us believe that the team had the victory in the bag and/or were going to make an incredible comeback. Unfortunately, neither happened and the Bengals now sit at 3-3. That's not going to stop us from naming an MVP.
First, we took a look at Jermaine Gresham. He had a fantastic 55-yard touchdown reception that ESPN's Chris Berman surely would have famously labeled "rumblin', bumblin', stumblin'". It was the biggest play of his young career and got the Bengals off to a nice 7-0 start. It appeared as if the game would be in hand. Unfortunately, the rest of Gresham's day mirrored that of the entire team. He only had two other catches for 13 more yards and had two critical drops. Though we loved his big reception, we found it hard to give the MVP award to Gresham and his inconsistent day.
When you give up 27 points on defense (remember that seven came from an Andy Dalton "pick six"), there's not much praise that will be thrown around. But, week after week, one guy on defense continues to impress, despite the unit's overall performance. Vontaze Burfict had a solid game with six total tackles and a tipped pass. He consistently made tackles and has become one of Marvin Lewis' favorite players. My favorite part of Burfict's day? He took a late shove from a Browns offensive lineman after a play and it cost Cleveland a 15-yard penalty. Burfict didn't retaliate or do anything stupid--wasn't that supposed to be his M.O. out of college? Regardless, one could argue that he has been the best of the 2012 rookie class and he wasn't even drafted.
We should just start naming this award "The Weekly A.J. Green Award". The guy is just amazing. Green finished the day with seven catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns. In just six games this season, he has six touchdowns, which is one short of how many he had in all of 2011. He also has three 100-yard receiving games in 2012, and that also is one short of tying the same amount he had in all of 2011. Talk about a jump in the second year. This team likely wouldn't be 3-3 without a player like Green and the sky is the limit for the youngster.
Who gets your vote for the Cincy Jungle Most Valuable Player Award?