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Weekly Bengals awards in Cincinnati’s 26-18 loss to Cleveland

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There weren’t many positives to Sunday’s loss, but some performances warrant merit. Cast your vote and sound off on your winners!

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

It wasn’t a performance to write home about for the Cincinnati Bengals, as they got swept by the Browns in 2018 with their Week 16 loss to Cleveland. The offense struggled until there was just a few minutes left in the game, while the defense was gouged in nearly all phases.

Even so, there were some notable individual performances, so cast your vote on your nominees for each one of our weekly awards!

Most Valuable Player:

C.J. Uzomah: The team’s now-No. 1 tight end had a rough start to the game (along with pretty much everyone else), but ended up as the leading receiver on the day. He had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown reception.

Jeff Driskel: The team’s backup quarterback again missed some throws and was pretty deplorable through the first two-plus quarters, but he once again had the team in the game late. Driskel threw two touchdowns and ran for 21 yards, without committing a turnover.

It was a near-miracle to get that kind of output, given the poor play from the offensive line and the fact that he didn’t have Tyler Boyd in this contest. A banner day by the quarterback, it was not, but he made some plays with a lot of variables going against him.

Clayton Fejedelem: The special teams ace had a whale of a day on two specific plays. In the first quarter, Marvin Lewis dialed up a fake punt on a 4th-and-1 with a direct snap to Fejedelem, in which he converted with a six-yard sprint. He also had a blocked punt in the fourth quarter to help set up the whirlwind of events to make the game a bit interesting late in the contest.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the Bengals Week 16 MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    C.J. Uzomah
    (36 votes)
  • 8%
    Jeff Driskel
    (19 votes)
  • 71%
    Clayton Fejedelem
    (162 votes)
  • 4%
    Other
    (11 votes)
228 votes total Vote Now

Unsung Hero of the Week:

John Ross: Another week, another one-catch for a touchdown performance from Ross. The second-year receiver grabbed his seventh score of the season, and it was just his 20th reception of the year as well. He also had a seven-yard run on an end-around.

Joe Mixon: The second-year running back went into the game as pretty much the most consistent, effective and healthy weapon, so the Browns keyed on him. Even so, he averaged four yards per carry en route to a 17-carry, 68-yard day. He also added two catches for 10 yards.

Alex Erickson: Part of being designated for this award is in stepping up for other injured players. He had two catches for 35 yards, along with three kickoff returns for a 25.7-yard average in place for Tyler Boyd.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 16 Unsung Hero of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    John Ross
    (8 votes)
  • 58%
    Joe Mixon
    (116 votes)
  • 33%
    Alex Erickson
    (67 votes)
  • 3%
    Other
    (7 votes)
198 votes total Vote Now

Goat of the Week:

Bobby Hart: The team’s starting right tackle was ailing from a back issue on Sunday, but familiar issues, healthy or not, popped up against the Browns. Genard Avery notched a sack against Hart and he was also flagged for a critical false start. Though he wasn’t the only lineman with lapses of quality play, his were the most obvious and egregious.

Vontaze Burfict: The embattled linebacker came back to lineup on Sunday after suffering a concussion a few weeks ago and apparently suffered another one after notching only two tackles. That’s not why he makes this list, though.

He was seen out of position on some Nick Chubb runs, and when he was helped off of the field, Burfict took his frustrations out on an athletic trainer. We get that this season has been incredibly disappointing, but this is just a microcosm of both the 2018 Bengals and Burfict’s volatile NFL career.

Christian Ringo: After having a nice game a couple of weeks again against the Chargers, Ringo hasn’t been able to find similar footing. He notched just two total tackles in a game that Chubb had 112 rushing yards, but committed an awful holding penalty at the end of the game with the Bengals attempting to mount an unlikely comeback.

Darqueze Dennard: On multiple occasions, Dennard allowed significant receptions and gains from the Browns’ offense. He, like other corners on the afternoon, seemed totally baffled in their coverage responsibilities, as evidenced by his not looking back for the football a small handful of times as Cleveland receivers moved the ball on him.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 16 Goat of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Bobby Hart
    (90 votes)
  • 36%
    Vontaze Burfict
    (72 votes)
  • 1%
    Christian Ringo
    (2 votes)
  • 12%
    Darqueze Dennard
    (24 votes)
  • 5%
    Other
    (11 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now

Play of the Week:

C.J. Uzomah’s 14-yard touchdown reception: As the game got to “garbage time”, Cincinnati looked to make the contest respectable. Jeff Driskel and Co. finally put a drive together that was capped by a nice diving reception by the athletic tight end.

Clayton Fejedelem’s blocked punt: The backup defensive back had a great day on special teams. In the first quarter, he had a six-yard sprint on a fake punt to extend a drive. In the fourth quarter, Fejedelem shot through the Browns’ special teams group to block the punt.

John Ross’ three-yard touchdown reception: Ross’ early career has emulated that of Cris Carter’s with the Eagles. Though he only has 20 receptions this season, seven of them have gone for touchdowns, with the latest coming on this three-yard drag route.

Poll

What play was the best by the Bengals in Week 16?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    C.J. Uzomah’s 14-yard touchdown catch
    (29 votes)
  • 79%
    Clayton Fejedelem’s blocked punt
    (140 votes)
  • 4%
    John Ross’ three-yard touchdown catch
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
177 votes total Vote Now