If there is such a thing as a "season-saving win" in the middle of the NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals grabbed one. Facing a red-hot Ravens team while Cincinnati was on a major skid, the chances didn't seem to be in their favor. As has been seen over the years between these two teams, it ended in crazy fashion.
With the Bengals' win comes a new sense of optimism in and out of the locker room. It's time to turn the page to the Jacksonville Jaguars and avoid any possibility of a trap game. Before we can fully move on though, it's time to go through the nominees for the Bengals Week Eight Most Valuable Player Award.
Mohamed Sanu, WR: Since he has assumed the No. 1 receiver role due to injuries, Sanu has become a big-play guy for the Bengals. Once viewed as a a red zone threat and/or slot man, Sanu is showing his prowess to stretch the field, and that was on display against the Ravens. He finished with five catches for 125 yards, a 25-yard-per-catch average and added 27 yards on two rushing attempts. Though he didn't have any touchdowns, he was a major threat during the entire game.
Andy Dalton, QB: The Bengals' signal-caller didn't have any passing touchdowns on Sunday, but he got it done with his legs. He ran for two rushing touchdowns for the first time in his career and was pretty accurate throughout the game. Yes, he had a fumble and interception that cost the team 10 points, but he also led a gutsy fourth quarter drive to win the game. Dalton finished with 266 yards in the air, 14 on the ground and a 75 percent completion rate.
Geno Atkins, DT: It was nice seeing a version of the "old Geno" on Sunday, wasn't it? In his best statistical game all season, Atkins had four total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. The Ravens' rushing offense was held in check for a good portion of the afternoon, with no backs cracking the 70-yard mark and Atkins was a factor in that regard.
Mike Nugent, K: We feel that we have to add a special teams player to the MVP list, since special teams played a big factor on Sunday. A number of people could have been nominated from that unit, but we'll look at Nugent and his nine points on the day. He was perfect on both field goal attempts and all three extra point tries. It might sound like this should be the norm for a kicker, which would be mostly correct, but he showed up big in a divisional game where points are at a premium.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals Week Eight Most Valuable Player?