In a 33-23 win, Most Valuable Player nominations are usually pretty easy to lay out. Obviously, a lot of scores had to occur to get that many points in a game and the ones who get into the end zone usually get the biggest kudos. We have created a weekly award for Bengals players and if you've been reading our site for the past couple of years, you know what this is about.
We like to honor the guys behind the scenes--the overlooked ones in a sport that emphasizes "team". So, cast your vote and sound off on who your Cincinnati Bengals "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" winner is!
A.J. Green, WR: Green toughed out his lingering foot issue and grabbed three balls for 44 yards and a big touchdown in the fourth quarter. He is apparently feeling good after the work and we should see an increase in his snaps this Thursday against Cleveland.
Geno Atkins, DT: It looks like Atkins is finally starting to look like the Pro Bowl player of old, as he has strung together two solid games for the first time this season. He had his highest Pro Football Focus rating of the year, led the team with six total tackles and was a constant disruption up front.
Taylor Mays, S, Rex Burkhead, RB: These two get a tip of the cap because of their twin blocked punts on the day. Both were big momentum swings for the Bengals and resulted in points. Burkhead also contributed two catches for 10 yards. It's always nice seeing backups who are grasping for playing time, making the most most of their opportunities.
Jermaine Gresham, TE: For all of the flak the guy gets, he does do some of the dirty work for the Bengals. He was a reliable blocker for a good chunk of the day, which helped the team to get 191 yards on the ground. He also added five catches for 36 yards and a couple of first downs.
Cedric Peerman, RB: Though Jeremy Hill got the bulk of the work on Sunday, the team needed an able backup. We knew that his stats weren't going to be gaudy, but Peerman made the most of his work, including a huge conversion off of a 17-yard catch. He finished with 31 total yards from scrimmage.
Ryan Hewitt, HB: The big guy with the golden locks opened up pathways for Hill against Jacksonville. Hewitt is another guy who gets overlooked because of a lack of stats, but he does his share of the dirty work. He did have a catch as well for seven yards.
Marshall Newhouse, OT: One criteria for nominees of this award surrounds the ability to come in for an injured player and perform admirably. Newhouse came into the game after right tackle Andre Smith left, and was part of the trio (Hewitt and Gresham, as well) who helped spring Hill's 60-yard touchdown sprint. He put in two and a half quarters of work up front and helped in the 191-yard rushing day.