This week's Gillette Debate asks a simple question: Who has been this year's offensive MVP and why? We're given some freedoms with our weekly debate segments, expanding our coverage throughout the entire league or specific with our respective teams. Considering we're a team that focuses on the Cincinnati Bengals, let's stick to our own team. I'm going to present three players and you can agree with me, or go on your own and pick your player.
A.J. Green: The only offensive player named to the 2013 Pro Bowl from the Cincinnati Bengals, Green has generated a pace to reset several receiving franchise records. Yet as A.J. Green goes, Cincinnati's passing offense goes. Of Green's worst performances this season, Andy Dalton struggled, often seeing his initial read (Green) covered and shifting around the pocket looking for an escape. This was more noticeable as the season dragged on. Without Green, to at least consume the defense, this offense would completely collapse.
Andy Dalton: Despite some of his struggles this year, Andy Dalton tends to do one thing. Steps up when he needs to. Sure he might overthrown, underthrown, or throw wide of a stationary target, but this isn't a sport driven by statistics. Just wins. Along with having a fourth quarter passer rating of 95-plus, Dalton has generated three game-winning drives this season including a fourth-quarter comeback. He now has seven game-winning drives for his career.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Let's face facts. When Green-Ellis really began to get going, success for the Cincinnati Bengals followed. His first 100-yard performance against the Kansas City Chiefs was the first of three straight (all wins) and four over a five-game span (again, all wins). Save for his performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers (tying a season-low 14 yards rushing), Green-Ellis averaged 5.1 yards/rush during a five-game span where the Bengals, quite frankly, saved their season.
Pretty damned valuable.
Your turn. Who do you have?