Sometimes it's the role players on a football team that makes a victory in the NFL possible. While there were a number of different stars that stole the spotlight on Sunday, many Bengals that went overlooked truly made the victory possible. Sure, 2011 Pro Bowlers like Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and Geno Atkins made a bunch of huge plays, but there were others that kept Cincinnati on a two-game winning streak.
Rookie wide receiver Mohamed Sanu continued his integration into the Bengals offense for the second straight week on Sunday. He had his second touchdown reception in as many games, while also showing his versatility as the Bengals lined him up as a running back at times and getting two carries. While the carries netted exactly zero yards, Sanu is still showing Percy Harvin-like attributes and is proving to be a valuable offensive commodity.
How about Jermaine Gresham lately? Based on his performances over the past few weeks, you would have thought that he was one of the players that Marvin Lewis called out, along with Dalton and Rey Maualuga. On Sunday he played like a man possessed where he made a number of contested catches and fought for extra yards numerous times. He was jawing with every defensive back near him, and at one point carried three tacklers for almost five yards on what was an almost-touchdown. He finished the game with six receptions for 69 yards and showed a ton of effort on Sunday.
Ultimately, we decided to go with rookie cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick. Now, stay with me on this one. In his first extended action of the year, he ended up showing his athleticism and stepped up in the wake of injuries, which is sometimes what we point to when giving out this award. But first and foremost, he shined on special teams, especially in a play where he pinned the Chiefs deep in their own territory late in the game. Secondly and arguably most importantly, Kirkpatrick stepped in and took the bulk of defensive snaps after both Terence Newman and Nate Clements went down with injuries and was serviceable. He allowed a couple of early catches, but settled in later and showed the promise that made him the No.17 overall pick this year.
Who gets your vote for the "Unsung Hero of the Week" Award for Week 11?