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Bengals awards from their 30-16 win over the Raiders

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It wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but the Bengals just won, baby. Cast your vote for the best performances by Cincinnati this week and sound off on your winners!

Oakland Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Like it or not, the Bengals haven’t given up on their season. Cincinnati beat the Oakland Raiders to momentarily put some good feelings into what’s been a lost season.

Regardless, it was a quality effort from Marvin Lewis’ team, who saw even more valuable players leave the lineup with injury. Here are the nominees for our weekly awards—cast your vote and sound off on your winners!

Most Valuable Player

Joe Mixon: As he entered Week 15, it appeared as if Mixon would need two more games to eclipse that 1,000-yard mark for the season. While that ended up being true, the second-year back almost accomplished the feat against the Raiders, missing out by just five rushing yards.

Regardless, he finished with a workman-like 27 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Mixon also had two receptions, but only netted a yard there.

Geno Atkins: After shooting out to a hot start of the season, Atkins, much like the rest of his team, cooled off greatly in the 1-7 stretch spanning from mid-October to early December. But, with Oakland trotting out two backup guards on Sunday, No. 97 rightfully made them pay.

Atkins notched three sacks in the game, giving him 10 on the season, along with six total tackles (four were for a loss). His season-best is 12.5 sacks in 2012, so he could get close to besting that mark over these next two contests.

Darqueze Dennard: It’s been a pretty quiet year for Dennard, who is seeking a possible contract extension with the club this offseason. He was incredibly active on Sunday, though, continuing to make a case for his overall value.

He had eight total tackles and a defended pass, along with a forced fumble and a recovery. All three former first round cornerbacks played well on Sunday, but Dennard was the star of the three.

Sam Hubbard: It’s been a bit of a feast-or-famine rookie season from Hubbard, but the latter was on display this Sunday. He had two sacks and a forced fumble on the day and continues to show the promise the team saw in him at Ohio State.

Tyler Boyd: Though he left the game early with an injury and Jeff Driskel was a bit erratic on Sunday, Boyd still led the team in receiving yards with 38. He had four total catches and a touchdown, as he became the first Bengals receiver aside from A.J. Green to notch a 1,000-yard receiving season since 2009.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 15 MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Joe Mixon
    (116 votes)
  • 9%
    Geno Atkins
    (15 votes)
  • 8%
    Sam Hubbard
    (13 votes)
  • 1%
    Darqueze Dennard
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Tyler Boyd
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Other
    (5 votes)
153 votes total Vote Now

Unsung Hero of the Week

Alex Erickson: The utility man stepped up nicely on special teams and offense on Sunday. After Boyd left the game late in the second quarter, Erickson took a bigger role and grabbed three balls for 23 yards.

But, it was on special teams where Erickson made his mark once again—particularly on kickoff returns. He averaged 42 yards per his four kickoff returns on Sunday, with a 77-yard sprint in the fourth quarter being the gut-punch to the Raiders.

Carlos Dunlap: Stat column-wise, it was a little quiet for Dunlap, who had an assisted tackle and a fumble recovery. But, the turnover was huge and the big defensive end was seen forcing Derek Carr into poor throws and the like with frequency.

Randy Bullock: Though the team still doesn’t consistently trust him with kicks over 50 yards, the veteran kicker had another quality day with the manageable distances and situations in which he was given. Bullock was 3-of-3 on both field goals and extra points against Oakland, which accounted for 12 total points on the afternoon.

Poll

Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Unsung Hero of the Week in their win over the Raiders?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Alex Erickson
    (123 votes)
  • 4%
    Carlos Dunlap
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    Randy Bullock
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
137 votes total Vote Now

Play of the Week

Sam Hubbard’s sack and forced fumble: The rookie defensive end had two big plays on Sunday, but this one in the first quarter set the tone. He beat fellow rookie tackle Kolton Miller and knocked the ball loose from Carr.

Tyler Boyd’s 7-yard touchdown catch: Cincinnati was desperately trying to get points after holding the Raiders to two punts and a lost fumble on their first three possessions of the game. The Bengals used a 9-play drive culminated by Boyd’s touchdown grab to get into the end zone and take a lead in which they never relinquished.

Alex Erickson’s 77-yard kickoff return: Despite the ugly lost fumble against Denver a couple of weeks ago, Erickson has had one of the best return seasons in the league. With returns like the one below, he has vaulted himself into the No. 2 position in the kickoff return yardage leaders in the league.

Oakland’s special teams members didn’t get down the field overly-quickly, while Erickson found a lane and made a couple of guys miss before finally getting shoved out of bounds at the Raiders’ 21-yard line. It set up a touchdown to ice the game for Cincinnati.

Joe Mixon’s 15-yard touchdown run: Erickson’s big kick return set up the Bengals’ knockout punch in the form of a Mixon outside sprint to the end zone. This play was by committee, as Bobby Hart and Billy Price pulled outside on the pitch to help pave the way for Mixon.

The play capped another wonderful day by the second-year back, who seems to be thriving when getting more touches. Shocker.

Poll

What was the Bengals’ Play of the Week this past Sunday vs. Oakland?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Sam Hubbard’s sack and forced fumble
    (36 votes)
  • 2%
    Tyler Boyd’s 7-yard touchdown reception
    (3 votes)
  • 63%
    Alex Erickson’s 77-yard kickoff return
    (83 votes)
  • 6%
    Joe Mixon’s 15-yard touchdown run
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    Other
    (0 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now