When you’re GMC Professional Grade, you perform at a high level day in and day out, whether you’re noticed or not. As we enter the Fourth Quarter of the season, who is your team’s unsung hero?
If you're reading these pages with consistency, calling someone unsung or underappreciated would be trivial. Most of us have a keen awareness regarding who should be celebrated this year, who is struggling, who needs help and who should be cut as soon as possible -- none of these discussions actually pertain to Andy Dalton because, for whatever reason, the physics of normal football discussions goes out the window (AmIRight?). And it's not like we're going to blow minds with a name that you didn't think of.
But we do have an opinion on the matter.
With six games remaining on the regular season, Bengals safety George Iloka is ranked fifth with 48 tackles and tied for second with eight passes defensed. With a team-leading three interceptions and no touchdowns allowed, opposing quarterbacks have generated an opposing passer rating of 22.3.
According to Pro Football Focus' grading scale, Iloka (+6.7) ranks as the second-best defender in Cincinnati this season. His PFF against the run (+3.5) is second behind Reggie Nelson and his pass coverage score (+2.8) is second behind Terence Newman.
Iloka is as balanced as any defender on this team.
"George is better twofold this season, compared to last," said head coach Marvin Lewis. "He played with a cast on his hand throughout last season, and secondly, the experience of being in his second season (starting) is huge. He’s been in the right spots. He was a year ago, but he didn’t come down with those plays like he is now. The fact that he’s in the right spots now, and he’s the big man he is (6-4, 217) — tackling and making plays on the ball — are important. We need him to continue like that."
Who is your unsung hero?