As the Bengals losses keep piling up, the excitement and positivity surrounding the team has dwindled. Their playoff hopes are hanging on by a very thin thread and we don't know the psyche of the team after it's devastating, last-second loss to the Texans on Sunday.
Not to sound like a broken record, but none of us here at Cincy Jungle are advocates of "moral victories". We're just not really into rewarding the team or a player for achieving anything during a loss. But, it would be hard to say that there weren't any positives out of the loss on Sunday. After all, the Bengals did have their most turnovers forced in a game, as well as having their biggest lead going into halftime of the entire season.
This award goes to a player whose achievements may have been overlooked on Sunday. The nominees are those who are not mentioned in our weekly MVP and/or Game Ball features. Here are the nominees for the Week 14 "Unsung Hero of the Week Award":
A game ball winner and nominee for this award last week, Anthony Collins had another good game. He stepped in for starter Andre Smith on Sunday and didn't disappoint. Cedric Benson had a great first half, aided by many good blocks by the athletic Collins. What's more, Collins seemed truly "revved up" to be in the game and was noticeably animated when a positive play occurred. Quite frankly, Collins is one of the few players that truly looked as if he knew the magnitude of Sunday's game. It was the offense's second half disappearance that had Collins missing out on this award for the second straight week.
Kicker Mike Nugent had a big game, leading the team in total point with thirteen. He had four big field goals--including one that was a seemingly crucial kick right before the half. Nugent has only missed two field goals on the year and should be a finalist to represent AFC kickers in the Pro Bowl. In fact, he's rebounded so well that he was recently named the team's winner of the annual "Ed Block Courage Award" winner.
But, we wanted to give the nod to a player who's made Bengals fans tear their hair out this season. Wide Receiver Jerome Simpson has been either feast or famine for the majority of the season, to say the least. But, on Sunday against the Texans, Simpson was pretty steady and solid. Though he didn't have a spectacular day, Simpson caught the only touchdown of the day for the Bengals and had another leaping sideline catch early in the game. Though those were his only two receptions of the game, the reason why he is this week's winner of the Week 14 "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" is because he took heat off of A.J. Green in his own respective matchup against Johnathan Joseph. We noted that Simpson making a couple of plays on Sunday would help the Bengals chances and for a time it looked as if he had done enough to help solidify the win.
Who gets your vote for this week's "Unsung Hero of the Week Award"?