Being a former coach myself, I never like to give too many accolades after a loss--particularly one as ugly as we all witnessed last night between the Bengals and the Ravens. But, the optimist in me sometimes outweighs the innate "hard-ass" trait that I sometimes have, and I must admit that there were some positives that came out of the ball game.
This weekly feature is different from the "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" that we do, and if a player is awarded one of them, we deem him ineligible for the other. There were really only two players that could have been looked at as the Most Valuable Bengals Player in the game.
Geno Atkins continued his reign of terror over the Ravens on Monday night, collecting two sacks in his first game of 2012. He made the Pro Bowl last season as one of the NFL's premiere interior defensive linemen and is building on that reputation already in the early going of this season. Atkins was the only consistent defensive player in the game and was even seen lining up as a defensive end when the Ravens were running their no-huddle offense.
But, we decided to give it to an offensive player, especially given the poor performance of the defense. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a solid debut for the Bengals. He consistently churned up yards and converted tough, short-yardage situations--something that this team couldn't do last season. He gashed the Ravens defense for 91 yards on 18 carries and had a tough touchdown run that put the Bengals back in the game for a short while. We also can't overlook that Green-Ellis' backup, Bernard Scott, wasn't playing, so he got the bulk of the carries. In just one game, he looks to be an upgrade from last season's starter, Cedric Benson.
Who gets your vote for this week's Bengals MVP?