Sunday was one of those wins by the Bengals where almost every player could be nominated for the MVP award. The offensivee and defensive units shined and plays were made by numerous guys on both sides of the ball. The defense absolutely shut down the high-flying Atlanta offense, be it by the pass rush, shutting down the run and/or making plays in the secondary. Not to be outdone, the offense consistently hogged the football in a game that should have been won by more than two touchdowns.
Let's sort through the names and let the readers sound off on their vote for the Bengals Week Two Most Valuable Player!
Andy Dalton, QB: Though not spectacular, it was another highly-efficient day for the rejuvenated fourth-year quarterback. For the second straight week, Dalton didn't turn the ball over and threw a big-play touchdown that sealed the game. He finished 15 for 23, 251 yards and a 76-yard touchdown. To say that Dalton looks confident and completely in control of Hue Jackson's new offense would be stating the obvious.
Mohamed Sanu, WR: Credit Sanu who had to come up big in the wake of a toe injury to A.J. Green and also having other additional weapons out in Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones. He was the recipient of the big touchdown catch, where he had to make a tough catch in good coverage (which was also a dime of a throw by Dalton) and ended up breaking the back of the Falcons. Another of Sanu's catches was for a big first down to convert on third and he added a pretty 50-yard throw, making him 3/3 for 148 yards and a touchdown, as a passer.
Giovani Bernard, RB: This game featured the two-headed running attack that most fans envisioned in Jackson's new scheme. We knew that Bernard would continue to be a focal point in the offense, both as a runner and receiver. The second-year man dazzled on a few plays with hurdles and speed, racking up 169 total yards (90 rushing, 79 receiving) and a touchdown. Yes, he was held under four yards-per-carry again, but was extremely effective on many plays throughout the day.
Jeremy Hill, RB: Everyone wanted more Hill and in Week Two Jackson obliged. Though he wasn't as flashy as Bernard on plays, he was a bit more steady--particularly as the game wore on. The rookie had 15 carries for 74 yards (4.9 yards per carry) and added a goal line touchdown. He also had two catches for 22 yards and was used masterfully late in the game when the Bengals were chewing clock holding a multi-possession lead. It was a game that played directly into the plan of attack with Hill.
George Iloka, S: I have to beat my chest a bit on this one, as I picked Iloka to have a breakout year in 2014. It's still very early, but Iloka looks to be on track with that, as he had a fantastic game. The third-year safety had two interceptions, one tackle and another pass break-up on a deep ball to Julio Jones. He's tall, rangy, physical and teams up excellently with Reggie Nelson on the back end of the defense.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals Week Two Most Valuable Player?