This week might be one of the most difficult to name an MVP award winner for our weekly feature. In one of the Bengals' most thoroughly dominating performances in recent memory, players contributed heavily from a number of different spots. Without exaggerating, an argument could likely be made for any number of players to win the MVP award.
In a first for this feature, I decided to nominate this week's winner for the "Unsung Hero of the Week" award as a nominee for the MVP award as well. Adam Jones contributed on special teams and on defense. He had the big 68-yard punt return, as well as five tackles and a forced fumble on defense. It was an overlooked, albeit unbelievably important performance by the embattled cornerback.
There were two other defensive players that stuck out on Sunday, and not surprisingly, they were on the defensive line. The first nod goes to Carlos Dunlap and his 1.5 sacks, fumble recovery and five total tackles. He hadn't been doing much over the past few weeks but really showed up in a huge game. His fellow line mate, Geno Atkins also had a stellar performance. Atkins' impact didn't show up on the stat sheet, but he had a number of pressures on Eli Manning that resulted in interceptions and/or fumbles by No.10. The team's two best defensive linemen had great games on Sunday.
Remember when Chad Johnson would call out members of the opposing team's defense and then failed to show up and back up his smack talk? A.J. Green told the media earlier in the week that the Giants defense "had holes" and the Bengals offense had planned to expose them. And expose them they did. Green finished the day with seven catches for 85 yards, including the big 56-yard touchdown reception to put the Bengals up 7-0 early in the first. I've joked that I've contemplated changing this weekly feature to the "Weekly A.J. Green Award" and it's for good reason. The kid is an insane football player.
We just had to give the award to quarterback Andy Dalton. He had a career-best four touchdown passes on Sunday and was incredibly efficient with a 70% completion percentage (21 of 30). He only had 199 yards passing, but that was more because of the short field that the defense gave him to work with than an inability to make big plays. For all of the heat and blame that Dalton has received this year, he was superb on Sunday and had zero turnovers for the first time this year.
Who gets your vote for the week ten Most Valuable Player?