Has your heart stopped racing, yet? What a finish and a win by the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
In the win and subsequent 3-1 record for the team, many great performances were on display. As is usual in our weekly awards, cast your vote on your winner and sound off on your selection!
Most Valuable Player:
Andy Dalton: The Bengals’ signal-caller was superb on Sunday. Yes, he had an interception on his stat line, but that was a by-product of a drop by Tyler Kroft, who may or may not have been held on the play.
Regardless, Dalton had three touchdown passes and his second 300-yard passing day of the season with 337. Dalton led a masterful 16-play, game-winning drive to lead the Bengals to a win.
A.J. Green: The Pro Bowl wideout had some peaks and valleys on Sunday, but he came through at some critical moments. It could have been another massive statistical day for Green, but an earlier touchdown reception was wiped out by a penalty.
Still, as he often has as a Bengals receiver, Green came through in the clutch, bringing in the game-winning touchdown with seven seconds left. The best part? He made the play in front of both Julio Jones and Chad Johnson.
Giovani Bernard: Joe Mixon has had to sit out the past couple of weeks, but Bernard has filled in quite well. He’s ran and caught the ball well, but also has helped out in pass protection.
On the ground, Bernard had 15 carries for 69 yards (a 4.6-yard per carry average) and two touchdowns. He also had four catches for 27 yards.
Tyler Boyd: The third-year receiver is stepping up in a huge way this year. Would it surprise you to know that he leads the Bengals in both receptions and receiving yards?
Boyd finished with 11 catches for 100 yards on Sunday. However, the best stat comes from the final drive. Boyd had four catches on the game-winning drive—all on third and fourth downs that all went for first downs.
Geno Atkins: It wasn’t a banner day for the Bengals’ defense, but No. 97 stepped up in front of many family members who were present. He had four tackles (two for loss) and a sack of Matt Ryan.
Who was the Bengals’ MVP in their 37-36 win over the Falcons?
This poll is closed
Unsung Hero of the Week:
For those unfamiliar, this award honors players whose contributions may have gone overlooked. That may be easy to do this week, given the amount of huge plays by so many offensive skill position players, but there were some other solid performances by Bengals players.
Trey Hopkins: Rookie Billy Price has been out of the lineup, but Hopkins has been a nice surprise at center. Seeing as how it isn’t his natural position, he’s held his ground well these past two and a half games. Issues were prevalent along the line this Sunday, but Hopkins was pretty solid in his third game played this year.
Tyler Eifert: Green got the rightful love for his game-winning score, while Boyd and Dalton also put up video game-like numbers. However, Eifert was a valuable member of the win before he went down with a season-ending ankle injury.
He proved his red zone value once again with a nice first quarter touchdown reception, which was his first and only of 2018. He finished with four total catches for 38 yards and the score.
John Ross: While he wasn’t the star of the game, per se, one has to marvel at Ross’ ability to rebound after being raked over the coals the past week. Ross only had two catches on Sunday, but he made them count.
His first was a 39-yard touchdown where he split the Falcons’ defense using his immense speed. The other was a 13-yard acrobatic catch along the sideline for a first down.
Alex Erickson: The reserve wideout did a lot of dirty work on Sunday. He had a catch for eight yards, a run for eight yards and made a big tackle on an interception.
Aside from that, he made a handful of impact plays on special teams. Erickson had two kickoff returns for 82 yards and a 13-yard punt return.
Randy Bullock: After missing a 53-yard field goal attempt last week, Bullock atoned against the Falcons. He had seven total points—one field goal and four extra points.
Carl Lawson: A bad call on a sack aside, Lawson began to flash a bit more than just pressures on Sunday. He had a sack of Ryan and other quarterback hits.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Unsung Hero of the Week in their win against Atlanta?
This poll is closed
Play of the Game:
We have a feeling we know where this one is going, but indulge us, if you will. After all, the Bengals did score five touchdowns on Sunday.
Tyler Eifert’s 15-yard touchdown reception: The tight end’s day ended in utter heartbreak, but not before he made a big impact. Eifert had the team’s first touchdown of the day.
A. J. Green and Tyler Boyd draw the attention of the free safety on the right side, leaving Tyler Eifert wide open on the left side pic.twitter.com/OqZtOtMgNG— Nick Manchester (@NickManchester9) October 1, 2018
Giovani Bernard’s 10-yard touchdown run: On what was a very rare occasion, Cincinnati’s defense forced the Falcons to turn the ball over on downs on their second possession of the game. The Bengals went on the move and ended up taking a temporary lead.
Cincinnati picked apart the Falcons defense for eight plays, capped off by a Bernard touchdown. The run was a beauty, as Bernard stuck his foot in the ground and juked his way into the end zone.
Excellent run by Giovani Bernard that destroys Robert Alford’s discipline with his patience. pic.twitter.com/mW45Jw6zt5— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) September 30, 2018
John Ross’ 39-yard touchdown reception: As we mentioned above, Ross atoned for himself quite well this week. In what was quickly becoming a shootout, Cincinnati needed a big play after Atlanta tied the game at 21 early in the second quarter.
Dalton dropped back and found Ross, who split a couple of defenders. He was lined up outside but shimmied his way inside a bit to find a crevice for a score.
John Ross had a nice bounce back game today. He fought through the groin injury to play some in the 2nd half, but couldn’t get out there in the 4th quarter. This 39-yard TD was sweet, but the 13-yard toe tap in the 3rd quarter was probably the best catch of his young career pic.twitter.com/0eyjwF4gKa— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) October 1, 2018
A.J. Green’s 13-yard touchdown reception: The Bengals scraped together a drive for just over four minutes to play and milked it all the way down to just seven seconds. The final five seconds of the 16-play drive were pure magic.
Dalton hit Green for the game-winner to put the Bengals at 3-1 through the first four games.
I also love this angle for a variety of reasons. First, it shows the tight window Dalton had and the concentration Green used to corral the ball. It also shows the incredible speed at which the NFL game is played.
I’m pretty sure Joe Mixon will be ready to go next week… pic.twitter.com/wJbXOumNgU— Brian Calkins (@CincyFit) October 1, 2018
What gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 4 Play of the Game?
This poll is closed
Tyler Eifert’s 15-yard touchdown catch
Giovani Bernard’s 10-yard touchdown run
John Ross’ 39-yard touchdown catch
A.J. Green’s 13-yard touchdown catch