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2022 Bengals first quarter awards: Cast your vote and sound off!

We’re at the first quarter mark of the 2022 NFL season. Cast your votes and sound off on winners for various Bengals awards!

Cincinnati Bengals v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals unfortunately dropped to 2-3 last Sunday night, again losing on the final play of the game. Still, there have been a lot of good performances thus far and we’re going with the first quarter awards this week.

Cast your vote and sound off on your winners!

Most Valuable Player

Joe Burrow:

Despite a rough couple of games, Burrow did have solid ones in the team’s two wins. He’s got nine touchdowns to five interceptions, 1,316 passing yards and an 89.7 rating on the season.

Tee Higgins:

Part of Higgins’ value is shown in how things look when he isn’t in the game. He hasn’t missed immense time, but rather parts of two games—both losses (Steelers and Ravens).

Higgins has 20 catches for 315 yards, a 15.8 yards per catch average and two scores. He and Ja’Marr Chase have very similar stat lines this year.

Ja’Marr Chase:

Chase hasn’t popped the big play quite yet, but he’s still doing some solid work. He has 32 catches for 343 yards (both lead the team) and two scores.

Evan McPherson:

With the Bengals struggling in the red zone and in goal line situations, McPherson has been “Money Mac” once again. If he hadn’t lost his long snapper in Week 1, we’d be talking about a very near-perfect season by the second-year kicker, complete with a should-have-been walk-off season-opening win.

Still, he’s hit 10-of-12 field goals and 8-of-9 extra points, including an insane 59-yarder.

Vonn Bell:

Usually it’s Jessie Bates known as the ball hawk of the safeties, but Bell has been the guy picking off passes this year—three, to be exact. He also has a forced fumble 28 tackles (three for loss) on the season.

Trey Hendrickson:

It’s not just the sacks (2.5) or quarterback hits (nine) Hendrickson has amassed this year. It’s in his ability to get holding calls and consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The veteran edge defender looks to be in solid form again this year.

Chidobe Awuzie:

A lot of folks outside of Bengals circles don’t regularly think of Awuzie as a shutdown corner, but he certainly plays like one. He has a 66.4 total PFF score this year and:


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ first quarter MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Joe Burrow
    (22 votes)
  • 14%
    Tee Higgins
    (77 votes)
  • 0%
    Ja’Marr Chase
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Evan McPherson
    (19 votes)
  • 49%
    Vonn Bell
    (262 votes)
  • 14%
    Trey Hendrickson
    (76 votes)
  • 9%
    Chidobe Awuzie
    (49 votes)
  • 3%
    (21 votes)
529 votes total Vote Now

Unsung Hero of the First Quarter

Tyler Boyd:

Though underutilized to this point, Boyd is still extremely valuable to the Bengals’ offense. Look for him to have a bigger role going forward, but he does already have 234 receiving yards and two scores through the first five contests.

Ted Karras:

The team’s new center has quickly ascended to team leader and fan favorite, despite the issues on offense. He has a PFF score of 60 right now, but offensive changes may raise that number.

Hayden Hurst:

The new tight end has started to emerge as a viable target with the offensive changes. He has 157 receiving yards and two scores so far this year.

Cal Adomitis:

Part of the criteria for this award is in someone admirably stepping up for another in the wake of injury. Adomitis came in for Clark Harris after his Week 1 injury that turned into a disaster and has steadied things. Kudos to the rookie for his performances thus far.

D.J. Reader:

Normally, the big defensive tackle would be in the MVP list, but with his injury taking him out of the last two and a half games (half of the season thus far), we’re placing him here. Cincinnati has been stout against the run thanks to Reader, and was even a constant presence in the backfield in passing situations.

Sam Hubbard:

Hendrickson gets a lot of the credit for good reason, but Hubbard does a lot of dirty work for the defense. He constantly amasses a high volume of snaps and was key in playing contain versus Lamar Jackson last week.

Logan Wilson:

While Wilson hasn’t had the number of splash plays he had at the start of 2021, he’s still been a solid performer. He has 33 total tackles and an interception to go with a respectable 66.6 PFF score.

Eli Apple:

Though his PFF score of 52.2 doesn’t tell the whole tale, Apple continues to play his best NFL football with the Bengals. He stepped up to Tyreek Hill’s challenge (see ESPN’s Ben Baby’s stat here), and is part of a solid pass defense.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Unsung Hero of the First Quarter?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Tyler Boyd
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    Ted Karras
    (30 votes)
  • 27%
    Hayden Hurst
    (123 votes)
  • 4%
    Cal Adomitis
    (20 votes)
  • 11%
    D.J. Reader
    (53 votes)
  • 29%
    Sam Hubbard
    (133 votes)
  • 17%
    Logan Wilson
    (78 votes)
  • 0%
    Eli Apple
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    (5 votes)
452 votes total Vote Now

Rookie of the First Quarter

Because of the lack of playing time by Bengals rookies—be it by lack of need, injury or something else—we’re lumping offensive and defensive players together.

Dax Hill:

It’s been a quiet start to the season for Hill, who has been relegated to spot defensive snaps and/or special teams duty. He has one tackle on the season, but should see a slow ramp-up of more snaps going forward.

Zachary Carter:

Carter has had the most snaps on defense for the rookies, acting as a rotational player up front. He has four total tackles and is attempting to become a highly-useful and versatile player for Lou Anarumo.

Cordell Volson:

Volson earned the starting left guard job in the summer and hasn’t given it up to date. The beginning of the year started off rough, but there are signs that he’s starting to turn a bit of a corner. He has a 49.5 PFF score and has three sacks and penalties to his credit this year.

Jeffrey Gunter:

The rookie defensive end has’t had much of a splash on defense, but did have a blocked field goal on Thursday night against the Dolphins. With Khalid Kareem now waived after coming off I.R., Gunter may start to find a niche on the line going forward.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Rookie of the First Quarter?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Dax Hill
    (4 votes)
  • 9%
    Zachary Carter
    (39 votes)
  • 81%
    Cordell Volson
    (352 votes)
  • 4%
    Jeffrey Gunter
    (20 votes)
  • 3%
    (17 votes)
432 votes total Vote Now

Coach of the First Quarter

Zac Taylor, head coach:

While it’s been a bit of a disappointing season, Cincinnati is still in the AFC North and playoff hunt. Taylor oversees that and, in truth, the Bengals’ losses are by a mere 2.7 points per game and all have been on the last play of the game, so they’re right in the mix in their losses.

Brian Callahan, offensive coordinator:

Higgins has been performing well and Burrow has had a couple of good games this year. Furthermore, Callahan has adjusted to mixing in Hayden Hurst more, as he and Taylor are concocting a new offensive scheme to react what defenses have been giving them this year.

Darrin Simmons, special teams coordinator:

McPherson has been outstanding, as has punt and kick return coverage. There are areas for improvement and Week 1 had its hiccups that were out of his control, but the unit adjusted nicely to losing Clark Harris.

Lou Anarumo, defensive coordinator:

The defense is allowing just 16.4 points per game this year. Granted, the Bengals have played differing forms and amounts of times of backup quarterbacks in four of five contests this year, but Anarumo’s unit has largely answered the bell.

Cincinnati’s defense is allowing the lowest completion percentage in the league (57.4), tied for fourth in the NFL with allowing just four passing touchdowns and are 10th in the NFL with five interceptions. The Bengals are also seventh in the league in rushing yards allowed.

Charles Burks, secondary/cornerbacks coach:

As mentioned above, Chidobe Awuzie, Eli Apple and Mike Hilton have been a high-quality trio of corners for the Bengals this year. Burks is in his first year with the Bengals, but has his group performing as a major key in keeping the team in games.

Robert Livingston, secondary/safeties coach:

Much like with Burks, Livingston has his group playing very well. Vonn Bell has been the star of the backfield, amassing three key interceptions in five games, with Jessie Bates also having nice moments here and there. Both he and Burks also have a pet project in the rookie Hill they are attempting to develop.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ first quarter Coach of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Zac Taylor
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Brian Callahan
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Darrin Simmons
    (6 votes)
  • 93%
    Lou Anarumo
    (415 votes)
  • 0%
    Charles Burks
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Robert Livingston
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    (7 votes)
443 votes total Vote Now