Monday, August 31, 2015

Preseason Week 3 Bengals vs. Bears: "Unsung Hero of the Week" award

By Anthony Cosenza

August 31, 2015

We give the nod to a few Bengals players whose contributions may have been overlooked in the team's 21-10 win over the Bears on Saturday night. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner!

While the MVP and Unsung Hero pieces are usually ones that honor individuals, sometimes an entire position group is worthy of a tip of the cap. This week's "Unsung Hero" definitely provides the latter, as it was a true team effort in the Bengals' 21-10 win over the Bears.

Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for this week's "Unsung Hero of the Week" award!

The Offensive Line: One guy who stood out in this group was Russell Bodine for his immense improvement after a poor showing against the Buccaneers, but the entire group played well. The quarterbacks finished the half going 12-for-12 passing, which is a general statement of pass protection. The group ended up allowing two sacks on the night, but also paved the way for 145 net rushing yards. Penalties marred the night and kept them getting an MVP award, so the Unsung Hero designation seems fitting for them.

HB/FB Ryan Hewitt: Man Crush alert! This guy gets in there to knock heads, as evidenced by his standing up of Shea McClellin on Jeremy Hill's 26-yard run. As if the blocks weren't enough, Hewitt also added two catches for 11-yards. Hewitt seems to personify this award.

RB Rex Burkhead: His versatility will not only pay dividends for the Bengals' offense, but could help shape the overall roster. Burkhead had two catches on the great opening drive, including an awesome, back-shoulder 25-yard grab against a linebacker while lined up in the slot. A lot of folks are really looking to what Burkhead's contributions will be in 2015.

WR A.J. Green: After a bad night down south, Green bounced back nicely with two catches for 19 yards. His 15-yarder from AJ McCarron was a beauty, as he adjusted and made a one-armed catch that led to a touchdown drive.

TE Tyler Eifert: Like the return of Marvin Jones, many believe having Eifert back will cure most, if not all of the offense's issues. Eifert had two catches for 30 yards, including a 25-yard beauty that led to Jeremy Hill's touchdown run.

The Secondary: Adam Jones had some nice plays, as did Dre Kirkpatrick and Josh Shaw. The group frustrated Jay Cutler into the third quarter, and allowed just 127 passing yards, 10 first downs and 10 points, as well as an 18 percent third-down conversion rate. It was a nice effort from a group who was abused by the big wideouts of Tampa Bay.

DE/LB Chris Carter: Usually, the Bengals aren't very creative with the "'tweener" guys.Dontay Moch fizzled out and James Harrison was out of his element in Cincinnati. But Carter (not the guy who only catches touchdowns) has found a nice preseason niche. He has three sacks in three preseason games, along with multiple other pressures. One came on Saturday night against the Bears and he could be grinding his way onto the final roster.

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