The Week 11 MVP nominations are in and a lot of the popular names are included. With the complete team win in New Orleans, it's possible that we could nominate the entire Bengals team for either the MVP or this week's "Unsung Hero of the Week Award". That being the case, we went a different route with a couple of the nominations this week, as we lumped more than one person as a singular entity to vote for. Fair or not, that's how it's being done, so deal with it.
Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for this week's Bengals "Unsung Hero of the Week Award"!
Vincent Rey, LB: After filling in for both Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga who were injured the past few weeks, Rey finally had a veteran back to lean on. Having some experience next to him paid off and Rey (as well as Maualuga who was nominated as an MVP) was flying to the ball. He led the team with 12 total tackles and they weren't of the multiple-yards-down-the-field variety.
Rex Burkhead, RB: One of the things that the Bengals' coaching staff loved about Burkhead as a college player was his versatility. The second-year man's ability to run well, but also catch like a receiver out of the backfield has always been coveted. With three backs ahead of him, Burkhead has only been pressed into action on special teams and in the wake of Giovani Bernard's injuries. He only had one yard rushing, but caught three passes for 36 yards--two of which converted critical first downs and one of which was an athletic, diving catch.
Emmanuel Lamur, LB: Really, I suppose we could have lumped all three linebackers into one entity, nominated them for the MVP and they would make a run at winning it. Lamur was also flying around the field free and easy in The Big Easy on Sunday, finishing just behind Rey in total tackles with 10. Aside from that, Lamur was one of a few Bengals defenders tasked with covering Jimmy Graham. The Saints' big tight end was a non-factor with just three catches for 29 yards on the day.
The Offensive Guards--Clint Boling And Kevin Zeitler: These two were absolutely mauling people in the trenches on Sunday afternoon. While Zeitler had the key block in Jeremy Hill's 62-yard scamper just before halftime, Boling consistently won at the point of attack. Boling had a +2.9 run blocking score, per Pro Football Focus, and Hill's 152 yards on the ground is proof in that pudding.
Mike Nugent, K: Since the horrible miss in overtime against the Panthers, Nugent has gone six-for-six in his tries. Two of those were on Sunday, both huge ones. The 42-yarder before halftime was enormous for momentum in the game and really turned the tide. Nine total points for "Nuge" this weekend.
The Secondary--Leon Hall, Reggie Nelson, Adam Jones, George Iloka: For the first time this season, the Bengals defense played as one giant, collective animal. Things were working up front, the linebackers were everywhere and the secondary kept Drew Brees' high-flying offense in front of them. Brees completed 33 of 41 passes, but only threw for 255 yards (7.7 yards per completion). The secondary completely nixed the deep ball opportunities and held Brees to just one touchdown pass.
Ryan Hewitt, HB/FB: Aside from helping to pave the way for 186 yards rushing by the team, I'll simply let you soak in this tweet:
Lap says Hewitt was hitting people so hard that his face mask was bent and had to be replaced. Jeremy called him O player of game.— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) November 18, 2014