Cue the Bill Belichick line: "We're on to Indianapolis". Before we turn the page completely from one of the oddest games in Bengals history, we have another award to give out for the Week Six tie versus the Panthers.
The "Unsung Hero of the Week Award" is one where we at Cincy Jungle give a tip of the cap to the Bengals players who did their job well, while also dodging the MVP spotlight. Sometimes it's the dirty work that gets rewarded, other times it centers around instances of players stepping up in the wake of injuries, and/or playing a quality game after having a rough previous week. The nominees on this week's list symbolize all of those attributes.
Cast your vote and sound off on who you think the winner should be this week!
Jermaine Gresham, TE: After suffering through one of the worst games of his career against New England, Gresham had a nice week against Carolina. He finished with a season-high six catches for 68 yards, no drops and no turnovers. He did have a couple of trademark pre-snap penalties, but he looked much more confident this week and was a big part of the 62 percent third down conversion rate by the Bengals' offense.
Brandon Tate, WR/KR: Tate was another guy who needed a good week against Carolina, and he delivered. Starting in the place of two injured wideouts ahead of him, Tate had four catches for 38 yards--one of which was a high-effort, diving touchdown early on. He also had one kickoff return for 29 yards.
Jeremy Hill, RB: The "backup" running back had one of his lowest yards-per-carry averages on the season, but, he did have a critical touchdown. Hill finished with eight carries for 22 yards, the late touchdown and four catches for 13 yards. Some of his work came when Giovani Bernard left the game with a shoulder injury. If nothing else, Hill also did a sweet "Ickey Shuffle".
Vontaze Burfict, LB: The Pro Bowl linebacker returned to the lineup after suffering concussions and almost looked to have suffered another one in the game. He returned though and had 10 total tackles and brought the nastiness that the defense missed in New England. So much so, in fact, that he was fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen.
Dane Sanzenbacher, WR: The slot man was another player who had a bad game in Foxborough, but stepped up nicely, particularly in overtime, against Carolina. He finished with four catches for 40 yards, moved the sticks and had a heads-up play where a questionable pass fell incomplete, but he still played through it. We wonder if the play was a backwards pass or not, though.
Who gets your vote for the Week Six "Unsung Hero of the Week" Award?