The Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Giants in what could be deemed a very important game, despite it being a preseason contest. It was the first game at Paul Brown Stadium with a Bengals coach not named Marvin Lewis manning the sidelines, so a lot of eyes were on The Queen City.
Even though the Bengals lost the contest, there were many individual performances that nearly led to a win. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner of the Bengals’ preseason Week 3 Most Valuable Player award!
Jake Dolegala: Rarely does a third-string quarterback make an MVP list, but the huge rookie showed his stuff in the later part of the game. Dolegala’s big arm almost gave the Bengals a win after the Giants’ furious comeback in the fourth quarter.
Dolegala was 10-of-12 for 94 yards and two touchdowns against New York. It was particularly impressive, given his distribution of the football and the probable lack of cohesion he had with a patchwork backup group of offensive weapons.
Andy Dalton: All of the quarterbacks played very well against the Giants, but Dalton gave fans confidence with the opener right around the corner. He started slow, but when he hit a rhythm, he looked like the No. 14 we’ve seen in some of his better pro seasons.
Dalton finished 7-of-10 for 104 yards and a touchdown in about a quarter-plus of work. His 26-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah was a beauty and things should work nicely when all weapons are back at his disposal this year.
Rodney Anderson: The rookie running back didn’t crack the end zone, but wow, what a debut. Anderson probably could have been a night two pick of this year’s NFL Draft, had he not torn a knee ligament early in the 2018 collegiate season.
Much like the other Bengals’ running backs, room when given a handoff came at a premium. Even though he had seven yards on the ground, he also had 51 receiving yards on four grabs, and even picked up blitzes with productive fervor.
Damion Willis: Every year, it seems as if an undrafted wide receiver rises from the ashes to grab a Bengals final roster spot. Willis seems to be that guy this year, as he just continues to produce in opportunities given to him.
While Willis only caught 50 percent of the passes thrown his way (six), he was the team’s co-leader in receiving yardage (55). He had a great touchdown grab from Dolegala, but also bailed Ryan Finley out of an underthrown ball that turned into a 33-yard gain.
C.J. Uzomah: The veteran tight end signed a lucrative deal this offseason, which was a great story for a guy who was considered a “raw” prospect coming out of Auburn back in 2015. Last week against Washington was an absolutely awful evening for Uzomah, who finished with three penalties and just one catch for one yard.
However, Uzomah rebounded in a great way on Thursday. He had just two catches, but averaged 27 yards per catch, including a pretty 26-yard touchdown strike.
Carl Lawson: The brutish edge defender leaves many frothing at the mouth with his physique and skill set, but injuries and limited snaps (usually because of injuries and/or the threat of them) have tempered enthusiasm. He returned in Week 3 against the Giants and made a splash right away.
Going against one of the premier tackles in the league in Nate Solder, Lawson actually used a bit of a finesse move instead of a power one and nearly changed the complexion of the entire contest. He blew up Daniel Jones for a sack and forced a fumble, but it was recovered by New York.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Most Valuable Player against the Giants in their preseason Week 3 loss?
This poll is closed
QB Jake Dolegala
QB Andy Dalton
RB Rodney Anderson
WR Damion Willis
TE C.J. Uzomah
DE/LB Carl Lawson