Even though the Bengals were not victorious on Thursday night, a number of players stepped up in varying capacities. These performances were critical to Cincinnati nearly pulling off a win.
For those who are new around these parts, the Unsung Hero of the Week has a bit of a nebulous meaning. If a guy stepped up in a big way because of injury, did some dirty work that went overlooked and/or were overshadowed by others at their respective position group, they are likely eligible for this weekly award.
Cast your vote and sound off on your winner of the Bengals’ preseason Week 3 Unsung Hero of the Week award in the team’s 25-23 loss to the Giants!
Ryan Finley: Andy Dalton and Jake Dolegala threw the touchdown passes this week, but Finley continues to show the poise, accuracy and timing that drew Zac Taylor to his services. The rookie didn’t have the big numbers as he did in the first two contests, but he was efficient.
Finley finished 14-of-20 for 155 yards, hitting a number of different targets. It would seem that the fourth-round pick has the inside track to the team’s backup quarterback spot going forward.
Josh Malone: There has been a lot of talk about Damion Willis, Auden Tate and others this preseason, but Malone has been another overlooked player in a crowded position group. Malone displayed his athleticism in a number of ways on Thursday night, giving more conversation topics for final cutdown days.
Malone had a late touchdown reception, but just two catches for 11 total yards. He also had a great kickoff return, but some of the net yardage was negated with a holding penalty.
Ventell Bryant: While we don’t like to immediately discount a player from a certain competition, Bryant has an uphill battle. However, the youngster thre his hat into the final roster bid ring with a great performance against the Giants.
Bryant finished as the team’s co-leader in receiving yardage with 55. He had four receptions on four targets and could be pushing for a practice squad bid.
Cody Core: Like Bryant, Core has been a bit of a forgotten guy in the immensely-crowded wide receiver battle. Core also had four catches on four targets, netting 36 yards.
Kerry Wynn: It’s been a solid past two games for one of the Bengals’ outside free agent acquisitions. He had a sack and fumble recovery last week, and followed that up with another sack against his former employer this Thursday night. It would appear that he has an inside track on a roster spot, given his ability to get to the quarterback from different defensive lineman spots.
Jordan Willis: Competing with Wynn is Willis, who also has been playing as if there is a fire lit underneath him. After having a sack and forcing a fumble last week against the Redskins, Willis had another big play this week.
He and Germaine Pratt combined for a sack. Willis also had a total of two tackles against the Giants.
William Jackson: The veteran corner looked comfortable early on, but did let up a big completion in the second quarter. However, he had a defended pass against Eli Manning and showed prowess that gave indications that he is ready for the the regular season.
Randy Bullock: The veteran kicker missed a somewhat-routine field goal opportunity last week, but atoned for it this Thursday. After Finley suffered two sacks on a second quarter drive, Bullock nailed a 50-yard attempt. He also hit both extra point attempts, giving him five points on the night.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ preseason Week 3 Unsung Hero of the Week Award?
This poll is closed
QB Ryan Finley
WR Josh Malone
WR Ventell Bryant
WR Cody Core
DL Kerry Wynn
DE Jordan Willis
CB William Jackson III
K Randy Bullock