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Weekly awards from the Bengals’ loss to Steelers

It was a hard-fought contest by the Bengals against their bitter rivals, but Cincinnati came up short against the Steelers once again. Still, there were some notable performances, so cast your vote and sound off on your winners!

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Somehow, the 2018 season has breezed by, as the Bengals are sitting at home yet again this January. Even in Marvin Lewis’ last game coaching the team, Cincinnati put forth one of their best efforts of the season in a 16-13 loss to the Steelers.

In the team’s 10th loss of the year, many Bengals players stood out for their performances. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for each one of our weekly awards!

Most Valuable Player

Joe Mixon: Once again, Mixon was criminally-underused in a game perfectly suited to feeding him the football. He had 13 carries for 105 yards, including a career-high 51-yard scamper. He finished as the 2018 AFC rushing yardage leader in just his second season.

Alex Erickson: With A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tyler Eifert and Tyler Kroft all out of the lineup coming into Sunday and Cody Core suffering a gruesome injury during the contest, Erickson stepped up. He finished as the team’s leading receiver with six catches for 63 yards

Shawn Williams: The safety had his fifth interception of the year and it was a doozy. He made a leaping interception and returned the ball 57 yards for the Bengals’ lone touchdown of the afternoon. He was also flying around the field, as evidenced by his eight tackles.

Christian Ringo: The backup defensive lineman had a strong finish to his season after being forced into action late this season. Ringo had a sack and two tackles to help lead the Bengals’ uncharacteristically-strong defensive performance.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 17 MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Joe Mixon
    (173 votes)
  • 10%
    Alex Erickson
    (28 votes)
  • 20%
    Shawn Williams
    (55 votes)
  • 4%
    Christian Ringo
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    (2 votes)
269 votes total Vote Now

Unsung Hero of the Week

Nick Vigil: There’s a line drawn in the sand about Vigil’s performance on Sunday. On one hand, he was seen a step or two behind backs and tight ends in the passing game to let up some significant yardage. On the other hand, he racked up a whopping 17 tackles on the evening, which is one of the highest by a Bengal in recent history.

Darqueze Dennard: No Steelers receiver reached 65 receiving yards on Sunday, and part of the reason why was because of No. 21. He had two passes defended, a forced fumble and seven total tackles.

Randy Bullock: The veteran kicker finished up a pretty solid 2018 campaign, hitting both of his field goal attempts and an extra point. One of his field goals was from 49 yards, which was one of the furthest he’s nailed as a Bengal.

Jessie Bates: Cincinnati’s second-round pick had a nice rookie season and played well once again against Pittsburgh. Bates had two passes defended and three tackles.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Unsung Hero of the Week in their loss against the Steelers?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    Nick Vigil
    (79 votes)
  • 40%
    Darqueze Dennard
    (97 votes)
  • 6%
    Randy Bullock
    (15 votes)
  • 17%
    Jessie Bates III
    (43 votes)
  • 3%
    (8 votes)
242 votes total Vote Now

Goat of the Week

KeiVarae Russell: The backup defensive back was victimized on a number of times and in different ways on Sunday evening. He allowed some critical receptions, while also missing two huge tackles—one of which was on the touchdown reception by JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Hardy Nickerson: The team’s middle linebacker only had three tackles on the afternoon, as James Conner had 4.7 yards per carry. Short routes often turned to large gains, with Nickerson and Co. a step behind receivers.

Carlos Dunlap: While the big defensive end had a few pressures on Roethlisberger, he didn’t have a tackle or a sack in the contest. This marks his second no-show in the uber-important Steelers contests this year.

Jeff Driskel: Sure, he’s a backup quarterback playing without his top-four pass-catching options on offense, but 95 passing yards? Come on. Driskel was seen missing throws at varying parts of the field, with even some completions being iffy because of ball placement.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals Goat of the Week?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Hardy Nickerson
    (71 votes)
  • 28%
    KeiVarae Russell
    (65 votes)
  • 9%
    Carlos Dunlap
    (23 votes)
  • 27%
    Jeff Driskel
    (63 votes)
  • 3%
    (9 votes)
231 votes total Vote Now

Play of the Week

Shawn Williams’ pick-six in the second quarter: After a scoreless first quarter, the Steelers were trying to gain control of the contest. It appeared as if Vigil initially came close to jumping offsides, which gave Roethlisberger a little more leniency on the play. He floated one across the middle of the field, only to have Williams snatch it and return the ball almost 60 yards for the score.

Randy Bullock’s 49-yard field goal: The veteran kicker lined up for a big set of points in the second quarter to give the Bengals their first lead of the game. It was one of the longest kicks of the season for Bullock.

Joe Mixon’s 51-yard run: After the Steelers started to gain momentum in the second half, the Bengals needed a response. With Driskel struggling to move the ball downfield, the team leaned on Mixon, who responded with the longest run of his career. It set up a game-tying field goal.


Who gets your vote for Bengals’ play of the week?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Shawn Williams’ 58-yard pick-six
    (179 votes)
  • 0%
    Randy Bullock’s 49-yard field goal
    (2 votes)
  • 25%
    Joe Mixon’s 51-yard run
    (63 votes)
244 votes total Vote Now