Vindication, justification and confidence-building could all be descriptors used for the Cincinnati Bengals in their win over the Tennessee Titans. It was a total team effort to get the win, as evidenced by Zac Taylor’s giving out of game balls to entire units after this one.
Still, we’re going to try and come up with favorites for the week and need your help. Cast your vote and sound off on your winners!
Most Valuable Player
The Bengals’ quarterback had a solid day against a tough defense. Whether it was with his arm or his legs, Burrow made a number of key plays.
Though he had a sub-60 percent completion rate (59.4%), Burrow accounted for 302 total yards (270 passing, 32 rushing) and a touchdown. His turnover-less outing was a major key to the Bengals’ win.
With not many pass-catchers putting up big numbers in this one, the spotlight was on No. 85. He had his second-straight 100-yard receiving game, finishing with 114 and a touchdown on seven grabs.
The Bengals utilized their bye week a couple of Sundays ago to get guys like Ja’Marr Chase, DJ Reader and Josh Tupou healthier. Quietly, Williams may have been a guy who needed an extra week of rest after suffering an ugly under-the-radar knee injury against the Ravens.
While he’s had some rough patches this year that may or may not be attributed to that injury, he’s played well the past couple of weeks. Cincinnati’s offensive line surrendered just one sack on Sunday (not by him) and Williams kept his assignments at bay this week. Pretty big difference between the line allowing nine in the Divisional Round and their overall performance against the Titans this time around.
The second-year kicker accounted for eight of Cincinnati’s 20 total points (two field goals, two extra points). One of his kicks was a clutch 47-yarder on a day with gloomy weather.
The rookie corner still has some speed bumps in his starts, but they’re getting fewer and the good plays are abundant. He had a Charlie Hustle play swatting the ball out from a galloping Derrick Henry before he hit the end zone, while also accounting for eight total tackles. Taylor-Britt also had the fourth-best overall Pro Football Focus score of 79.7 on the day.
The veteran edge defender routinely seems to come up with a huge play late in contests this year, as the team closes things out. Such was the case this week, with Hubbard notching a sack on Tennessee’s opening possession of the second half. He finished with six total tackles, the sack, two total tackles for loss and two quarterback hits.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 12 MVP
This poll is closed
QB Joe Burrow
WR Tee Higgins
OT Jonah Williams
K Evan McPherson
CB Cam Taylor-Britt
EDGE Sam Hubbard
Unsung Hero of the Week
Hurst was the only other consistent downfield passing threat aside from Higgins this week. He finished with six catches for 57 yards and a hellacious block on Bud Dupree:
Stepping up in the wake of injury is one of the major themes behind this award. Perine had a solid day’s work with Joe Mixon being out this week, accounting for 93 total yards (35 receiving and 58 rushing). He added another score on the ground, giving him four in the last two games.
Five punts between the teams started this game off, as both Tennessee and Cincinnati played the field position battle. Of Chrisman’s five punts, two landed inside the Titans’ 20-yard line with his booming 62-yarder coming from the shadow of his own end zone.
The veteran corner had a solid day’s work, posting two passes defended and four tackles. Tennessee’s top-two wideouts, Robert Woods and Treylon Burks, finished with a combined 86 receiving yards, showing the great work by Apple and Taylor-Britt this week.
When you see a guy having just one tackle on the stat sheet, you wouldn’t think he’d be nominated for an award. However, Reader had two passes defender, ate up blockers to free up other defenders and was a key player in holding Henry to 2.2 yards per carry on Sunday.
It was another good game from the team’s star linebacker, as he was another key piece to the Henry shutdown. He finished with a team-high nine tackles, one for loss and a pass defended.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ Week 12 Unsung Hero of the Week?
This poll is closed
TE Hayden Hurst
RB Samaje Perine
P Drue Chrisman
CB Eli Apple
DT D.J. Reader
LB Logan Wilson
Play of the Game
Samaje Perine 7-yard touchdown run:
“Decisive” and “determined” are definitely two adjectives to use when describing Perine’s running style—especially on Sunday. He navigated line of scrimmage traffic and ran through a tackle attempt by Kevin Byard to get into the end zone, tying the game shortly before halftime.
#Titans S Kevin Byard with a business decision vs Samaje Perine.— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) November 28, 2022
I don’t think he intentionally missed, but when you drop your eyes and turn your shoulder on a low shot, you’re saying you don’t believe you can wrap him and need to try to blow up your opponent & risk missing wild pic.twitter.com/1HQhmC1rlJ
Evan McPherson’s 47-yard field goal:
Early in the second quarter, Cincinnati hadn’t gotten on the board, yet, and asked their young kicker to make a tough one. McPherson didn’t flinch and nailed the deep kick to tie the game in the first half.
Tee Higgins’ 27-yard touchdown reception:
The back shoulder throws and contested catch plays between Burrow and his receivers are a thing of beauty. Higgins’ back-breaking touchdown was a little bit of both, as he out-muscled Kristian Fulton for the score.
Tee Higgins continues to destroy the Titans secondary mossing Fulton pic.twitter.com/yHCNHKa4mt— Main Team (@MainTeamSports) November 27, 2022
Which play gets your vote for the best of Week 12?
This poll is closed
Samaje Perine’s 7-yard touchdown run
Evan McPherson’s 47-yard field goal
Tee Higgins’ 27-yard touchdown catch