There were many impressive plays and positive things that came out of the Bengals' preseason victory against the Jets on Friday night. The defense was impressive throughout the entire game and the team dominated for almost the entire four quarters. Aside from injuries and a little rust, it was a pretty nice way for the team to open the 2012 season.
Still, some players shined a bit more than others on Friday night. Much like we do in the regular season, we are going to give away our MVP award to a player who had the biggest role in the team's victory. As it turns out, our MVP this week was responsible for the Bengals' only two touchdowns on the night and just continues to impress everyone on his quest to make the final roster.
Running back Cedric Peerman shined in both roles he is asked to play with the Bengals. First, on special teams, Peerman was part of a slew of players that bum-rushed Jets punter, T.J. Conley when he was backed into his own end zone towards the end of the first half. After the punt was blocked, Peerman pounced on the football in the end zone and scored a touchdown. It was a play that completely turned the momentum in the game.
After the half, Peerman went to work in the running game. Not only did he lead all Bengals rushers with 30 yards on seven carries and a 4.3 yards per carry average, but he scored the team's lone offensive touchdown on a one-yard run. It completed an all-around impressive night for the third-year player.
It also will go a long way in helping him make the final roster this year. In 2011, the Bengals somewhat surprisingly kept four running backs on the roster. They did so because they recognized the value that Peerman brought to the club. If that's the blueprint that the team will use this year in creating their final roster again, Peerman has to have a leg up on that fourth and final spot.