Even though the game saw a number of major contributors who did their best to get the Bengals over the hump, others did some solid work in the background to make it as close of a contest as possible. Read on for our nominees and cast your vote for the Bengals' Week 16 Unsung Hero of the Week and sound off on your winner!
RB Jeremy Hill: Unless you were hoping for magic in the final week of your fantasy football playoffs, you shouldn't have expected all that much from the Bengals' running backs. They were going up against the No. 1 defense in the NFL, yet Hill still gained 63 yards on 19 carries. It played into his poor yards per carry average of 2015, but he still ground out tough yards and grabbed a few first downs.
RB Giovani Bernard: It wasn't so much the statistical performance that made Bernard a candidate this week, but the effort behind some of his plays. On many of his runs and catches, Bernard made guys miss and/or put his head down for additional tough yards giving the offense some attitude. He finished with 14 rushing yards and 29 receiving yards, many of which came on third downs.
TE Tyler Kroft: Part of the criteria of this weekly award is a player stepping up and playing well. Kroft has been growing up before our eyes over the last month while Tyler Eifert has been nursing neck and concussion issues. The rookie tight end finished with four catches for 46 yards, including some big first down conversions in precarious situations.
CB Dre Kirkpatrick: While Emmanuel Sanders did grab one flukey 35-yard catch, he had just three other catches for 32 yards on the evening. Kirkpatrick, while not having the big turnovers he had in limited time last year, was a solid cover man throughout much of the evening.
S Reggie Nelson: Much like he has been for most of 2015, Nelson was involved in two of the biggest plays of the evening. As if recovering Michael Johnson's forced fumble wasn't enough, Nelson also had a huge pass breakup to Owen Daniels in overtime, leading to a field goal attempt instead of a touchdown to end the game.