When an NFL team experiences 12 wins in a single season, exciting plays are likely to be abundant. This truth is obvious, given the range of our contributors' votes for the next CJ award in line for the Bengals' 2015 awards. In the CJ's, this one should bring smiles to a fan base yearning for some happiness after the way the season ended for the orange and black.
There are a number of options to choose from, so cast your vote and sound off on your selection for the Bengals' 2015 award for the Play of the Year!
Alberto Luque (AKA muertasdeatenas): This is sad, but the AJ McCarron TD pass to A.J. Green in the Wild Card game made me cry, and they were tears of happiness. And I know what happened next...
Cody Tewmey: Brandon Tate's 55-yard touchdown reception against the Chiefs. This play has actually been shown among the NFL highlights of the season.
Alex Healey: Andy Dalton to Brandon Tate bomb versus Kansas City. I had a tough time choosing between this play and the 80-yard touchdown to A.J. Green against Baltimore. In the end, I decided to give ol' "Tater Tot" his moment in the sun. At that point in the season, when I saw that play, I felt almost invincible as a fan. I feel like I saw plays like that made by other teams somewhat frequently, but never my own guys. To see the No. 4/5 receiver stretch out and make a phenomenal play against a team that I thought was very good (and they ended up being just that) gave me all of the confidence in the world.
Kyle Phelps: Week 5 versus the Seahawks and the Andy Dalton quarterback sneak touchdown. The Bengals generally had a season of grinding away wins without doing anything particularly spectacular. There were some great catches from Tyler Eifert and Green, only a few of which actually went for scores. But, my personal favorite play of the entire season was Andy Dalton's five yard quarterback sneak into the endzone with 3:38 left against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5.
They were down 24-14 at the time and, and despite scoring a touchdown on the previous drive, the effort looked to be too little too late. But, a gutsy quarterback sneak call put the score at 24-21 and lit a fire in a Bengals team that had looked completely out of it after the first drive of the game. Those are the kind of plays that great players make in great situations.
Scott Schulze: Reggie Nelson's second interception of Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh with 3 minutes to play. The interception helped the Bengals secure their first 7-0 start in team history, and take a commanding lead in the AFC North race.
Rebecca Toback: This is a hard question, there were so many amazing plays by the Bengals this season. I would go with A.J. Green's touchdown in the playoffs because it was Green's first postseason touchdown and because the feeling that Bengals fans everywhere felt when that touchdown was scored was pure enthusiasm, amazement and happiness. There were other Green touchdowns that could be the Play of the Year, too, but that one really stands out.
Scott Bantel: The Vontaze Burfict interception in the Wild Card game – I know, they ultimately lost the game in unimaginable fashion, but, admit it, when Burfict picked off the pass from Landry Jones, you felt a level of joy (as a Bengals fan) which you had not felt for 25 years. It may have only lasted five or so minutes before being ripped away in the most cruel of fashions, but those five minutes were my happiest five minutes of the season – and the happiest five minutes I can ever remember experiencing as a Bengals fan (sad, but true).
Jason Marcum: The 80-yard bomb from Dalton to Green at Baltimore. It looked like the Bengals were about to endure an epic collapse, but that play helped get them back in it and it was also fun watching him torch the Ravens...again.
Dadio McDuck: Brandon Tate's 55 yard touchdown reception against the Chiefs.