Bengals vs. Colts: Nominations for Player of the Game

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

We nominate a handful of players for player of the game during Cincinnati's 42-28 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Andy Dalton: Whether people want to use terms like "Good Andy" or "October Andy", the fact is that Andy Dalton was beautifully on target all day on Sunday. He was making critical third down passes that sustained possessions and his receivers did a great communicating the right rights and catching the football. It wasn't his "best" game, but it's up there. At the end of the day, he completed 24 of 35 passes for 275 yards passing with four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) with a passer rating of 120.5. It was a great response.

Brandon Tate: One could argue that Tate, of all people, was the biggest villain against the Indianapolis Colts second half resurgence. After LaVon Brazill forced six defenders to miss their tackles on a 19-yard touchdown reception midway through the third quarter, Tate responded by returning the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Bengals 40-yard line. Six plays later, the Bengals scored a touchdown and extended their lead 28-14. When the defense forced a three-and-out on the following Colts possession, Tate returned the ensuing punt 19 yards to the Bengals 41-yard line. Seven plays later, the Bengals scored a touchdown and extended their lead, 35-14. Then, with over seven minutes remaining in the fourth, Tate returned a punt 44 yards to the Colts 29-yard line. Five plays later, Dalton scrambles into the endzone for his fourth touchdown and 42-21 lead. Three returns leading to great field position and eventual touchdowns.

Giovani Bernard: He didn't score a touchdown Sunday, but our little football ninja did everything else. Despite falling one yard short of the century mark on the ground, Bernard totaled 148 yards from scrimmage (99 rushing, 49 receiving) on 16 touches. He averaged 8.3 yards rushing on the ground with two runs of 19 yards or more.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Despite only generating 48 yards rushing and a 2.8 yard/rush average, for the first time in his career with the Bengals, Green-Ellis scored two rushing touchdowns, both from one yard out (with a little assistance but most of us will, albeit blindly, acknowledge Lewis' point, "He wasn't touched"... good enough for me).

Offensive Line: For the third straight game, Andy Dalton wasn't sacked and the Bengals offensive line helped open holes for Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis to average 5.1 yards/rush against the Colts.

Marvin Jones: As we reverted back to the whole No. 2 receiver discussions this week, wide receiver Marvin Jones returned from the abyss posting only four receptions in the past three games for 23 yards receiving. Jones opened the game's scoring against the Colts with a diving touchdown reception in the first quarter. He added another 29-yarder in the fourth quarter, converting a third and six from the Colts 40-yard line, with another amazing catch.

A.J. Green: Loved that the Bengals are starting to utilize A.J. Green between the numbers, rather than just sideline routes. Green finished the game with six receptions for 72 yards receiving, using multiple slants and inside routes but scoring a touchdown on a fade near the back right pylon early in the fourth quarter.

PREVIOUS WINNERS

Week 13 (Chargers): Vontaze Burfict (13 tackles, hit on the quarterback)
Week 11 (Browns): Vontaze Burfict (15 tackles, forced fumble, recovery for a touchdown)
Week 10 (Ravens): Vincent Rey (13 tackles, 3 sacks, interception, 3 TFL, 3 passed defensed)
Week 9 (Dolphins): Giovani Bernard (104 total yards, 2 TDs)
Week 8 (Jets): WR Marvin Jones (122 yards, 4 TDs)
Week 7 (Lions): QB Andy Dalton (372 yards, 3 TDs)
Week 6 (Bills): QB Andy Dalton (337 yards, 3 TDs)
Week 5 (Patriots): DE Wallace Gilberry (1.5 QB sacks, 2 QB hits, FF)
Week 4 (Browns): S George Iloka (6 tackles, near-pick)
Week 3 (Packers): DE Michael Johnson (7 tackles, 1.5 QB sacks, FF, TFL, 4 QB hits)
Week 2 (Steelers): RB Giovani Bernard (65 total yards, 2 TDs)
Week 1 (Bears): LB Vontaze Burfict (8 tackles, INT, pass defensed)

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