Bengals Nominations for Player of the Game against the Bills

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

It's not easy but that's why I put the MVP vote on our readers. We nominate five players and you vote the MVP (which we'll announce later this week). NOTE: This is not about the biggest plays of the game, which we'll poll later today.

Marvin Jones: Jones was a play-maker in the first quarter, posting two of the Bengals three biggest plays on the afternoon; a bubble screen in which all of his 42 yards receiving were earned and a 34-yard reverse. Jones added a great block that helped Mohamed Sanu convert a third down and his third quarter touchdown gave the Bengals a 24-10 lead. Jones finished with three receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Andy Dalton: The third-year quarterback needs a little goodwill from the base, after taking it on the chin during a poor set of games against the Browns and Patriots. Don't get me wrong; this isn't a sympathy nomination at all. He actually played well, completing 26 of 40 passes for 337 yards passing and tossing all of Cincinnati's touchdowns to A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard and Marvin Jones. Dalton's second quarter interception was clearly a case of the quarterback not seeing the defender, but that happens to most quarterbacks, and the turnover didn't lead to points.

Giovani Bernard: This kid is something else. He finished tied with A.J. Green for a team-leading six receptions and second with 72 yards receiving. His second quarter touchdown was ridiculous.

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Bernard finished with 100 yards from scrimmage (72 yards receiving, 28 yards rushing) with a touchdown.

Carlos Dunlap: Someone like Vontaze Burfict will always lead the team in tackles; based on that alone, he'll get consideration for player of the week/year awards. However, I'm not sure if a player is having a more effective season against the run and pass this year than Carlos Dunlap, who posted five tackles, a quarterback sack, two tackles for loss, two hits on the quarterback and a forced fumble (that was recovered by Burfict) against the Bills.

Mike Nugent: I hate this nomination, only because a 34-yard chip shot with 1:18 remaining in the third quarter sailed wide right. Initially made when the conversion was 24 yards, but negated on Alex Smith's offensive hold. The field goal would have given the Bengals a three-possession lead heading into the fourth quarter and probably prevents overtime in the first place. Yet, when it comes down to it, his 43-yard field goal in overtime won the game and that counts for something.

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