What a game, as the Cincinnati Bengals have become the national darlings for at least this week. Zac Taylor’s crew dominated the game—particularly in the second half—and they are in control of both the division and the conference, for the time-being.
There were many great individual performances and plays in which to nominate this week. Cast your vote and sound off on your winners!
Most Valuable Player
“The franchise” went into Baltimore and threw for a career-high 416 yards and three touchdowns. He had a bad red zone interception and started the contest off slowly, but he picked apart the Ravens, using five different targets.
What more can you say about “Uno”? He has the highest amount of receiving yards ever for a player through their first seven games and has stuck in other categories with the likes of Marvin Harrison and Randy Moss. Chase finished with eight catches on 10 targets for 201 yards and a score.
Burrow should be on the short list for NFL Comeback Player of the Year, but No. 87 should be in consideration, as well. Aside from ascending as a locker room leader, Uzomah has been a constant on-field force. Against Baltimore, he had three catches for a whopping 91 yards and two touchdowns.
It’s been a bit of struggle for Hopkins, as he has tried to come back from a knee injury suffered in the final week of the 2020 season. However, in the team’s most important game of the year thus far, Hopkins posted a solid 79.2 Pro Football Focus pass-blocking score.
The veteran edge defender was omnipresent in this one. He had five total tackles and was credited with 2.5 sacks. The entire defensive line played well in this one.
The Bengals’ big-ticket free agent had a good game with a sack on Lamar Jackson, two additional pressures and one total tackle.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 7 Most Valuable Player?
This poll is closed
Unsung Hero of the Week
It was tough sledding for most of the day for No. 28, but he was a big part in wrapping up this one with a big statement in the second half. He was the team’s leading rusher with 12 carries for 59 yards, which included a 21-yard scamper for a score.
After last week’s Chris Evans breakout game against the Lions, Perine was written off by many in Bengals nation. How did Perine respond with a return from the COVID-19 list?
He had a couple of solid runs to get to 57 and a touchdown, while adding an early 23-yard reception. Oh, and he was seen doing work in pass protection and on special teams.
The veteran guard continues to quietly play well up front. He had a solid 77.3 pass-blocking grade this week and has been the most consistent lineman (albeit by a thin margin) on the team this year.
What a turnaround it’s been for the veteran corner the past few weeks. No Ravens receiver had more than 80 yards receiving in the game and it was Chidobe Awuzie who was on coverage on the Marquise Brown touchdown grab.
He didn’t make any huge plays this week, but is improving in the wake of the loss of Trae Waynes. Apple has improved his PFF score from 36.5 in the first three weeks, to 67.6 the last four games.
While we can and should gush about the additions of Larry Ogunjobi, B.J. Hill and Hendrickson, getting Reader back healthy this year has been, pardon the pun, MASSIVE. He only had two tackles on Sunday, but a lot of his contributions aiding in the production from others.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 7 Unsung Hero?
This poll is closed
Play of the game
Evan McPherson’s 52-yard field goal:
In a game with so many points and big plays by the Bengals’ offense, it’s hard to remember the impact of Cincinnati’s first score. It was a day where coaches were hesitant to go for long kicks, but the McPherson was called upon for a biggie early on and nailed it from deep.
SE PONEN ARRIBA EN EL MARCADOR ✅— FOX Impacto NFL (@FOXImpactoNFL) October 24, 2021
Evan McPherson convierte el intento de gol de campo de 52 yardas #NFLxFOX
Bengals 3-0 Ravens
C.J. Uzomah’s 55-yard touchdown catch:
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this play, aside from the nimbleness shown by No. 87 was how Burrow was able to bounce back from a cheap shot and deliver a strike for a big touchdown in back-to-back snaps. Uzomah continues to step up as a major weapon in the offense with two explosive games against the Ravens and Jaguars, respectively.
Back-to-back plays. pic.twitter.com/m0qAHjHv5q— Anthony Cosenza (@CJAnthonyCUI) October 25, 2021
C.J. Uzomah’s 32-yard touchdown catch:
After Jackson launched a rocket of a touchdown to Brown, the Bengals needed a response after losing the lead. Burrow found Uzomah again, to grab a lead they never again relinquished.
HAPPY NATIONAL TIGHT ENDS DAY C.J. UZOMAH PART TWO pic.twitter.com/QvwOmgLCSO https://t.co/81o9rq9uz7— PFF CIN Bengals (@PFF_Bengals) October 24, 2021
Ja’Marr Chase’s 82-yard touchdown catch:
What else is there to say about this kid and this specific play? Rivaling the importance and awe-inspiration from A.J. Green’s amazing catch on this same field six years ago, Chase completely turned the tides in this contest with this one we’ll be seeing for quite some time.
Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase reminding us today why they were the two best non-QBs in the 2021 NFL Draft.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 24, 2021
Special dudes. pic.twitter.com/SE8uDCFxf3
Defensive stop in fourth quarter:
After Burrow’s red zone interception, Baltimore had new life down just 10 points. Cincinnati’s defense had allowed them in the end zone once in the second half already, so this becoming a one-possession contest was a stunning reality. Instead the Bengals’ defense stopped the Ravens on downs to get the ball back and start the seal-the-deal process.
Joe Mixon’s 21-yard touchdown:
Even after the big defensive stop, the game was still in theoretical grasp if the Bengals didn’t capitalize. Instead, they handed the ball to their bell cow back and let him put an exclamation point on this one. Mixon took a physical 21-yard run to the house to make it 34-17 with 9:24 left in the game.
JOE MIXON CASHES THE OVER (45.5)#CINvsBAL pic.twitter.com/L5no5pOEDg— PFF Bet (@PFF_Bet) October 24, 2021
Samaje Perine’s 46-yard touchdown run:
If Mixon’s run wasn’t enough of a statement, then Perine’s was a big one. It wasn’t maybe the most important play of the game, but likely the most emphatic. Perine shot 46 yards to the end zone as the Bengals made a second AFC North physical statement after putting it to the Steelers a few weeks earlier.
Which gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 7 Play of the Week?
This poll is closed
Evan McPherson’s 52-yard field goal
C.J. Uzomah’s 55-yard touchdown catch
C.J. Uzomah’s 32-yard touchdown catch
Ja’Marr Chase’s 82-yard touchdown catch
Defensive stop in fourth quarter
Joe Mixon’s 21-yard touchdown
Samaje Perine’s 46-yard touchdown run