A big win by the Bengals over the Rams means we have a lot of winners this week.
On offense, Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green and Jeremy Hill had big days. On defense, Reggie Nelson and the secondary were equally, if not more impressive. Here's a look at this week's winners and losers.
Tyler Eifert in the Red Zone: The breakout season of third-year tight end Tyler Eifert continued against the Rams with his second-quarter touchdown grab in the red zone, where he's become the go-to weapon for the Bengals' offense.
Bengals lead 17-7 with 3:27 remaining in the 2nd on Eifert's 12th TD of the season. https://t.co/Z71NRrAezS— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 29, 2015
This came one week after Eifert hauled in two red-zone scores. Eifert now has 12 touchdowns for the season. Eifert typically doesn't put up big yardage (5 games of 40 or less yards in last 6 games), but he's constantly getting red-zone targets and converting them into scores. He may not be the one running all the miles for this offense, but Eifert is frequently pushing the Bengals past the finish line.
A.J. Green: It felt like a big game for A.J. Green was coming, and it finally came against the Rams. In the first quarter, Andy Dalton found Green wide open in the end zone for one of the easiest scores he'll ever have:
Bengals take 7-0 lead to a wide open A.J. Green. https://t.co/S98TiG7Vh1— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 29, 2015
Green would score again in the third quarter on a far more contested pass that he did a great job of catching with two defenders around him:
A.J. Green scores his second TD of the game, giving the Bengals a 24-7 lead with 7:01 remaining in the 3rd. https://t.co/Qcyyx7Ures— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) November 29, 2015
This was only the second time this season and fifth time in 73 career games (including the playoffs) that Green has caught two touchdowns. Green had caught just one touchdown between Weeks 4-11. He's still not putting up big yardage numbers, but he still made a big impact on this game, something he hasn't done as much as you would think this season.
Reggie Nelson: Bengals safety Reggie Nelson has been having a career season that just so happens to be in a contract year as well. Coming into Week 12, Nelson was tied for the NFL lead with five interceptions with his previous career-high in a single season being five.
Nelson surpassed that mark with his second-quarter interception off of Nick Foles to halt a Rams' red-zone drive and keep the Bengals ahead comfortably at halftime. At 32-years-old, Nelson's big season will ensure he gets a nice deal this offseason, whether it's in Cincinnati or somewhere else.
Jeremy Hill: This has been a rough season for Jeremy Hill, but it finally appears he's getting back on track. While he's reached the end zone eight times, Hill was rarely picking up big yardage and had just one game over 60 yards rushing coming into Week 12 while failing to reach 100 total yards this year.
That is, until he ran for 86 yards against the Rams and caught a 14-yard pass to reach the 100-yard mark. He ran with authority and decisiveness instead of the hesitancy and indecision he had most of this season. Hill did leave this game with an ankle injury that didn't look serious, and hopefully he's able to build off this game going forward. After the game, Hill said he was "fine".
I'm fine everyone glad to be 9-2 #whodey— Jeremy Hill (@JeremyHill33) November 29, 2015
Giovani Bernard: With so many players doing well in the Bengals' offense, Giovani Bernard was still putting up big numbers coming into Week 12. Against the Cardinals last week, Bernard racked up 146 total yards, 128 of which came through the air on eight catches.
But against the Rams, Bernard mustered up 16 yards on 10 rushes to go with two catches for 51 yards. He did have a nice 45-yard catch and run in the second half, but he fumbled the ball at the end of it before Eifert recovered it. It didn't help Bernard that Hill was the one getting the bulk of the carries as it was clear the second-year back was the go-to back this game. This was only the third time this season that Bernard has failed to net at least 70 all-purpose yards.
Marvin Jones: The Bengals have become one of the NFL's best offenses without Marvin Jones doing much as of late. That continued against the Rams as Jones caught just three passes for 25 yards. He did get 30 yards on a receiver reverse run, but it's still less than 61 total yards, a mark Jones has reached just three times this season. Jones also hasn't caught a touchdown since Week 6.