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The CJ's: Bengals 2015 award for Most Improved Player of the year

We continue the Bengals' 2015 team awards with the one honoring the Bengals player who improved the most last season. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner!

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

We continue to roll out our Bengals 2015 team awards, where we nominate a number of players for a variety of yearly honors. While we get the initial nominations for each award by the Cincy Jungle contributors, we ask for your votes to determine the winner. Cast them and sound off on your selection in the comments!

Alberto Luque (AKA muertasdetenas): Andy Dalton, and I don't think it is even close. With Geno Atkins, it is more of a bounce back performance, but Andy just proved he is close to the elite than anybody was willing to admit. Let's see if he is able to carry it over in 2016 without Hue Jackson.

Alex Healey: In three less games than his 2014 campaign, Andy Dalton amassed 148 less yards, six more touchdowns, and 10 less interceptions. When healthy, Dalton was a legitimate MVP candidate as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers fell out of consideration as the season progressed. Before his 2015 campaign, I had no idea if the Bengals had a quarterback capable of taking them to the promise land. I now know they do. In the NFL, that is the most important question to be answered on any roster.

Kyle Phelps: I have to give this one to Cedric Peerman. In a season riddled with mistakes throughout the special teams unit, Peerman was always there to make the tackle on a returner when needed. He had 13 solo special teams tackles on the year and infrequently contributed in the returning game when he was asked to. He only returned four kicks, but two of those four went for at least 12 yards. He's also at the Pro Bowl this year, so I think you've got to give him the credit he deserves.

Scott Schulze: There are several ways you could go with this vote. But after the 2014 season, many fans were ready to discard Dalton in favor of AJ McCarron. It's an understatement to say Dalton struggled in his first year under Hue Jackson's offense, throwing only 19 touchdowns to 17 interceptions, and throwing for only 3,300 yards. Dalton's 2015 was a huge step forward from his 2014 season, and he finished second in the NFL with a 106.2 quarterback rating. That rating was the best by a Bengals' QB since Boomer Esiason had a 106.7 rating in a handful of games in his swan song 1997 season.

Rebecca Toback: Shawn Williams was a big surprise  in 2015. The first game where he really started to stand out was against the Steelers in Week 8 when he intercepted Ben Roethlisberger with just minutes left in the game and helped the Bengals clinch a victory over their hated rival. Williams continued to play very well in relief of George Iloka, who was injured for a big chunk of the season. Williams has a good shot at starting next season depending on how free agency plays out and he deserves to based on his impressive improvement in 2015.

Scott Bantel: For the last three offseasons, we heard how dominant and difficult Tyler Eifert was to cover in training camp, but thanks to lack of use as a rookie and a gruesome injury in the first quarter of game number one in 2014, we never saw the player we kept hearing about. Well, Eifert stayed healthy (for the most part) in 2015 and we saw exactly what the coaches were talking about. Due to his size, athleticism, body control and hands, Eifert established himself as one of the most difficult matchups in the NFL. Despite sharing targets with Green and Jones, Eifert put up 52 catches, 615 yards and set a franchise tight end record with 13 touchdowns in just 13 starts – a 650 percent increase from his last healthy season.

Jason Marcum: Andy Dalton gets my vote. Whether it was having a great supporting cast and/or Hue Jackson doing a masterful job with the offense, Dalton played like an elite quarterback in 2015 after being an above-average starter in 2014.

Anthony Cosenza: I'm going to go with AJ McCarron--I mean, nowhere to go but up, right? After being placed on Injured Reserve for all of 2014 and being pressed into a difficult situation in 2015, McCarron stepped up in a way not many backup quarterbacks could. Though the 2-2 record as a starter, including the playoffs, doesn't seem spectacular, McCarron had the Bengals on the verge of two of the bigger wins in Bengals history, with a 20-17 overtime loss in Denver and a 18-16 heartbreaking loss to the Steelers in the playoffs. He proved to be a capable backup after not being able to show anything last year due to a shoulder injury.