This one will be difficult.
Much like Cincinnati's 49-9 over the New York Jets, the team's 41-20 win over the Browns was a collective effort by many players. Since we set up the player of the game posts to put all of the pressure on you, we'll nominate a handful of players and you pick.
Vontaze Burfict: Maybe the obvious selection for player of the game, who could be up for the AFC Defensive Player of the Week later this week. Burfict led the team with 15 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered it for a touchdown. Burfict also added a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.
James Harrison: Mostly the result of one play, but the importance of his first quarter interception was believed to be the catalyst of Cincinnati's comeback, outscoring the Browns 41-7 in the final three quarters. Harrison added another pass deflection and finished fourth with four tackles.
Michael Johnson: When Johnson plays well, he's a man among boys -- and the boy in this case is Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas. Johnson finished the game with three tackles, a quarterback sack, a tackle for loss, two hits on the quarterback, three passes defensed and a forced fumble... oh and an interception. Talk about stud. Sign him long-term, please.
Carlos Dunlap: If we're going to add Johnson, we have to include his defensive end brother Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap also had three sacks, a tackle for loss and a pass deflection. Dunlap also led the team with four hits on the quarterback and NINE pressures. Good, lord. If he every translates his pressures into more sacks, he could one day break the record for a single-season... or at least Coy Bacon's unofficial number.
Reggie Nelson: A little under the radar, but he had as productive of an afternoon as anyone. Nelson finished third on the team with nine tackles, picked off a weather-induced interception and added two passes defensed; one of which prevented a huge play down the left sidelines.
Adam Jones: Cincinnati's third-string cornerback (second-stringer after Leon Hall's injury) covered Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon on five routes, allowing only two completions for 22 yards receiving. Jones added a 27-yard punt return at the end of the first half that led to a Mike Nugent 41-yard field goal.
Terence Newman: Though his effort isn't necessarily worthy of player of the game, his nomination is deserved for recognition. Newman covered Josh Gordon on four routes, allowing one 24-yard completion on a pass that he attempted to jump for an interception. He single-handedly stalled that same possession with consecutive passes defensed while shutting down Greg Little for no receptions on two routes.
Jayson DiManche and Tony Dye (separately): Like Harrison, DiManche is nominated for one play but the ripple effect of that play was huge. After the football was blocked, Tony Dye scrambled for the football and returned it for the touchdown to give Cincinnati a 21-13 lead. We'll also nominating Tony Dye, who added a special teams tackle.
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)