In any Bengals loss, these weekly award posts become difficult to construct because it supports the notion of celebrating "moral victories". The posts become increasingly more difficult when the loss is such an emotionally-charged one, complete with many significant injuries sustained by Bengals players.
Still, there were some quality individual performances from those on Cincinnati's roster and we're honoring them in this weekly award. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for the Bengals' Week 14 Most Valuable Player!
QB AJ McCarron: The cynical Bengals fan would point to the two interceptions (one a pick-six) from McCarron as the reasons for the loss. While there is some truth to the sentiment, McCarron also kept Cincinnati competitive in a game they might not have had any business being in because of the injuries suffered. The backup quarterback finished 22-of-32 passing with 280 yards and two touchdowns. McCarron hit eight different receivers on the afternoon and gave a glimmer of hope as the team prepares for life without Andy Dalton.
WR A.J. Green: Unlike other Bengals receivers in the past, Green has dominated the Steelers in his career--particularly in the past four games. Sunday was another great outing with a number of big plays, including the 66-yard touchdown from McCarron. Green finished with six catches for 132 yards and the score.
LB Vontaze Burfict: While the former Pro Bowl linebacker was the catalyst to some of the bad blood between the Steelers and the Bengals, he also talked the talk with his play on the field. He had 11 total tackles and was omnipresent against the formidable Pittsburgh offense, even though he exited the lineup with various ailments at times.
DE Carlos Dunlap: The veteran defensive end is having a career-year with the Bengals as both a run-stopper and pass-rusher. Though pressure on Ben Roethlisberger was inconsistent on Sunday afternoon, Dunlap did get a big third down sack on Big Ben, racking up four total tackles. He was part of a group that also limited DeAngelo Williams to 76 yards on 23 attempts on Sunday.