It was a good start to the 2015 season for the Cincinnati Bengals after their domination of the New York Giants in the preseason opener. The end score was 23-10, but it could have been far more lopsided had Cincinnati taken further advantage of red zone and third down opportunities.
Regardless, there were some high-profile performers worthy of MVP nominations. Here are our nominees--cast your vote and sound off on who received your vote!
Andy Dalton, QB: Though the starting quarterback only played one series, it was crisp and set the tone. Dalton hit all three of his passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. All three completions went to three different targets, and included standard drop-backs and rollout options.
James Wilder, Jr., RB: He was the leading rusher on the day with 53 yards, including a 20-yard scamper. Wilder grinded for tough yards on many of his other carries and had a touchdown run in relief of the injured Cedric Peerman and Rex Burkhead.
Terrell Watson, HB: When it came time to ice the game and put it away, Watson was the guy. He was just beat out for the rushing lead by Wilder, adding his own 52 yards on seven carries. He also had a 26-yard run, which was nice to see from a 240-pound back.
Mohamed Sanu, WR: One catch, one touchdown--not bad production, right? It was only for three yards, but Sanu ran the route to perfection, juking out the defensive back and capped an incredible opening drive.
Greg Little, WR: The veteran had an impressive night and led the team in receiving yards with 65. His 42-yard grab was a thing of beauty and Little really made a case to make the squad.
First-Team Defense: The first unit, which quickly became scattered with backups, were stout against Eli Manning's offense. Manning was held to 4/8 completions for only 22 yards, mostly gained on a dump pass to a running back. They pressured, swatted away passes and frustrated the Giants.
Marcus Hardison, DL: The rookie was impressive in his debut, displaying his size and versatility. He often lined up outside at end, as he did in college, but also was seen inside at times. He had three tackles and a sack on a night during which the defense only allowed 10 points.