The Bengals’ offense and defense both struggled this season, and like it has been in recent years, special teams was the most consistent unit on the team.
Darrin Simmons, the special teams coordinator, is by far the most experienced coach on the staff, and is one of the few whose job was never in danger this season. Simmons’ consistency shows why he was promoted to assistant head coach.
On the most consistent unit on the team, who was the most valuable player? Below are the nominees for Special Teams MVP:
Brandon Wilson, kick returner
Wilson has been a bright spot for the Bengals’ special teams unit. In 2020, he returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the second year in a row, recording the longest play in Bengals’ history in Week 12.
Wilson averaged 26.2 yards per return, which is fourth among kick returners with 20 or more returns. He has five 40+ yard returns, which is behind only Cordarelle Patterson. His 103-yard kick return was also second in the league, behind Patterson once again.
Wilson was also second on the team in special teams tackles, with nine.
Kevin Huber, punter
Flipping the field is an extremely underrated phase of the game, especially when the defense needs all the help they can get.
Cincinnati’s own Kevin Huber helped with that, averaging 47.2 yards per punt, which is good enough to tie for ninth in the league. But his net average, 42.8, was seventh in the NFL in 2020.
Huber’s average in 2020 is a career high, and is higher than his average from 2014 when he was a Pro Bowler.
He also had the longest punt in the league, a 72-yarder, which is the second time he has recorded the league’s long.
Shawn Williams, punt coverage
Simmons came up with a great scheme that heavily involved Williams. In two consecutive weeks, the Bengals called a fake punt when the opposing team showed a light box in punt formations. Williams rushed for 46 yards on two attempts, converting for a first down both times.
When Williams wasn’t running with the ball in his hands, he recorded seven tackles on special teams.
Cethan Carter, kickoff/punt coverage
Cethan Carter did not have much value as a tight end, but his special teams abilities cemented his spot on the roster. He stuck around long enough for the Bengals to call on him when C.J. Uzomah went down with an injury.
Carter leads the Bengals with special teams tackles, with 10. While that doesn’t get him a lot of attention, that consistency is a great asset for someone who is primarily a special teams player.
Who was the Bengals Special Teams MVP in 2020?
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