With the lights shining bright on Thursday Night Football, a lot of eyes were on the Cincinnati Bengals, who appeared to be underachieving with a 1-2 record going into the contest. After two consecutive tough losses filled with self-inflicted wounds and questionable officiating, Cincinnati suffocated the Miami Dolphins to the tune of a 22-7 win.
A lot of candidates could be named for a Bengals MVP this week. Carlos Dunlap was unbelievable off of the edge and Geno Atkins wreaked havoc up the middle, but the storyline has to reside with two players who propelled the team to a much-needed win.
After a disappearing acts of sorts in Weeks 2 and 3, Green came back with a vengeance against the Dolphins. He made many great catches, with many coming in contested coverage and/or while breaking tackles. After a 2016 debut with 12 catches, 180 yards and a touchdown against the Jets, Green followed it up in Week 4 on the national stage with 12 catches for 173 yards and another score against Miami.
Two of his big catches came on long balls from Andy Dalton, capturing the nation’s attention once again. While he wasn’t going up against the likes of Darrelle Revis on Thursday night, he still showed why he should be known as one of the best receivers in the NFL.
A.J. Green made this look easy pic.twitter.com/vYGuhn3U0H— Jeanna (@jeannathomas) September 30, 2016
On a night the Bengals’ offensive line had another relatively rough night, Green shined. While the above play showed his prowess in high-pointing the football, two other big plays (which included his touchdown grab) showed his physicality as he broke tackles on the way to his big statistical night.
Usually, kickers don’t make any kind of MVP list unless they nail a big kick late in the game. However, when a player is responsible for 16 of a team’s 22 total points, he has to be in the player-of-the-game conversation.
What a 2016 campaign it’s been for Nugent, even though we’re just four weeks into the year. Since joining the Bengals in 2010, the veteran kicker has had his ups and downs with Cincinnati. Every time it seems like he hit a big kick, a big miss seemed to mar his resume.
Things didn’t start out well this preseason for Nugent, either. After a handful of misses that seemed routine, many surrounding Who Dey Nation felt that a change might need to be contemplated. However, after hitting a game-winner against the Jets, Nugent went 5-for-5 against the Dolphins, even equaling his 2016-best 47-yard length against Miami. Though he didn’t have a fourth quarter conversion, Nugent’s performance came up huge on a night where the offense couldn’t convert on third down or in the red zone.
Who would you say gets the nod for the Week 4 Bengals MVP?