What a wild game. In one sense, the final score made the game seem closer than it actually was because the Bengals had a two touchdown lead for a good part of Sunday afternoon. At the same time, the team couldn't step on the Browns' throat and keep letting them creep back in. It was frustrating on one hand, but on the other, the 34 points that were scored were a sight for sore eyes.
We're going to do this week's Most Valuable Player award a little differently than usual. We found that there could have been four or five nominees, but we've decided to group one together. Click the jump and you'll see what I mean.
The first, and most obvious nominee was quarterback Andy Dalton. With the exception of one misfire that led to an interception, Dalton played great football on Sunday. He weathered the storm of six Browns sacks of him and his defense letting him down to throw for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He still has to work on his deep ball a little bit, but he did throw a great one down the sideline to Brandon Tate. It was one of Dalton's best performances of his short career and he rebounded nicely from a mediocre performance against the Browns.
We could separate each receiver as a nominee, but none of them would have a strong case, individually speaking. So, we've lumped them in a group as a nominee. Three receivers in particular had good days: Tate, Andrew Hawkins and A.J. Green. Each one of the three had a touchdown reception and combined for twelve catches for 185 yards. Hawkins had the most impressive touchdown reception, Green had the most targets and still made plays despite being double-covered most of the day and Tate flashed his big play potential. It was a great day at the office for the group, and I didn't even include the solid day from Armon Binns who had five catches for 66 yards.
So, really it just comes down to the simple question of if you thought their quarterback was responsible for the great offensive day and the win, or was it the big plays by the wide receivers? We default to the quarterback, as he is the leader of the team and Dalton took his team on his back on Sunday.