By now, you know the deal: we roll out this weekly feature as a supplement to our MVP nominations in an effort to give pats on the back to some overlooked Bengals players. A lot of praise is to be distributed this week, given the team's 37-3 demolition of the Cleveland Browns, so we're stacking up the good vibes to pass around to as many Cincinnati players as possible this week.
Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for the Week 13 Bengals "Unsung Hero of the Week" against the Browns!
Defensive End Michael Johnson: The veteran defensive end has been a bit quiet this season as Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap have shared the spotlight, but he was effective once again on Sunday. He had a big sack of Austin Davis on a fourth down to stop a drive and had two total tackles. He has quietly been a big reason for the team's No. 1 ranking in points allowed on defense.
Defensive Tackle Domata Peko: There are a couple of fan favorite whipping boys on the Bengals' roster, and it became en vogue to rip Peko this offseason. He's responded with one of the best seasons of his career, and his play on Sunday against Cleveland cemented the notion. He had his fourth sack of the season, a career-high, and two total tackles on the afternoon. He looks refreshed by the renewed rotation utilized up front.
Safety Reggie Nelson: Some think Nelson should be getting Defensive Player of the Year nods, given his state as the league-leader in interceptions, but it's unlikely to happen for a safety. He continued his 2015 Pro Bowl campaign with five total tackles and his seventh interception of the season against the Browns, which he returned 30 yards and ultimately led to a field goal.
Tight End Tyler Kroft and H-Back Ryan Hewitt: We rarely like to group people together for an individual award, but we felt these two really embodied part of what this award is about--stepping up in the wake of injury. With red zone machine Tyler Eifert out, Kroft had one catch for 17 yards, while Hewitt grabbed another for seven yards. They also contributed in the blocking game, leading to Jeremy Hill's best game of 2015 and keeping Andy Dalton pretty clean on the afternoon.
Offensive Guard Clint Boling: We've nominated individuals on the line in Andrew Whitworth and Russell Bodine, as well as the entire offensive line for the award so far in 2015. We feel it's about time Boling gets his due on a good afternoon by the big guys up front. Boling helped to open holes and spring some of the bigger runs by the Bengals on the afternoon and has had a solid year after signing a big contract this offseason.