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Week Three: Top Five Bengals That Impressed

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Another close shootout in week three would suggest another Bengals list with the majority being offensive players. Instead, this week’s players are very balanced with representatives from all three phases of the game; exactly what we’d like every week. Remember: This list is of players that perform better than normal, have improved a major flaw, or provided an unexpected advantage for Cincinnati.

Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

5. Mohamed Sanu - 1/1 for 73 yards passing with one majestic touchdown out of the wildcat

When scouting Sanu at Rutgers, you'd see him take wildcat snaps and effectively move the ball on the ground and sometimes through the air. The Bengals have almost never used the wildcat in the past. When Mohamed Sanu was activated for Sunday and Marvin Jones wasn't, I was confused with many other fans.Then you see the first snap of the game and it became clear the Bengals may actually know what they're doing. Remember, this was really Sanu's first important NFL play. He didn't flinch and threw a beautiful ball to A.J. Green.

4. Jermaine Gresham - 5 receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown

Instead of staying under the radar, much like Gresham has since the season started, we had a chance to see him make plays early in the game. This was Gresham's best receiving day of the young season and even though he wasn't strong in pass protection, the Bengals tight end now has 12 receptions and 131 yards this year. He's on pace for 64 receptions and about 700 yards; both would be career highs.

3. Kevin Huber - 4 punts (41.3 average) with 3 inside of the 20-yard line

Even though he's a local guy, Kevin Huber has been very average in his career as the Bengals punter. Consistency issues have hurt him and kept him from becoming a punter worth a 5th round pick. This year, Huber is averaging 43.1 yards per punt and 7 of his 11 punts have been downed within the 20-yard line without a single touch back this season. If the defense isn't winning the field position battle, Kevin Huber is doing his best to help right now. It's an unexpected boost on special teams.

2. Carlos Dunlap - 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL and 3 QB hits

Has anyone been missed more this season than Carlos Dunlap? His play was a complete shot to the defensive arm and allowed the secondary and fellow defensive lineman to play to their full potential. Dunlap is the perfect power LDE. He continually walked the Redskins' RT back into Robert Griffin III and caused errant throws and kept RGIII in the pocket. Dunlap's quick pressures allowed Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins that extra split second to make their own appearance in the Redskins rookie's nightmare.

1. Michael Johnson - 6 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 TFL, 1 PD, 7 QB hits

Dunlap's play could only be overshadowed by Michael Johnson's coming out party. It was about time; Johnson used his new strength and bulk to push the pocket and hold the edge in the running game. Sure, he played against a backup OT, but he absolutely destroyed him. Swims, rips, dips and hustle-plays allowed Johnson to rack up a season's worth of stats in one game. Can he keep it up with a healthy and deadly Carlos Dunlap on the other side?