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Cincinnati Bengals Week 1 MVP: Tyler Eifert

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) attempts to catch a pass against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, Bengals fans were treated to a great game in Cincinnati’s thrashing of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. In a must-win season opener, the Bengals took care of business, dominating in a 33-13 blowout that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. So now the question must be asked: Who was the Bengals’ MVP on Sunday?

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Several names could be in the MVP discussion:

Andy Dalton

threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns without giving up a sack or a turnover;

Jeremy Hill

and

Giovani Bernard

rushed for 63 yards each, Hill adding two touchdowns and Bernard adding 25 receiving yards;

Geno Atkins

and

Carlos Dunlap

had a sack each, with Atkins also forcing a fumble on his sack;

Adam Jones

made 10 tackles and forced a fumble (

although he made a really dirty play that could result in a huge fine

) and

Reggie Nelson

made a nice interception. But despite all of these great performances, one individual had a fantastic outing that excited us far more than those of his teammates, and that individual–our Week 1 MVP–is

Tyler Eifert

.

As many know, Eifert missed almost all of the 2014 season after suffering a gruesome elbow injury in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. A year after his elbow injury, Eifert proved why the Bengals took him in the first round, exploding onto the scene with nine catches, 104 yards and two touchdowns. Eifert’s performance was monumental for the Bengals, as he proved to make a huge impact as both a blocker and as a receiver without making any big mental mistakes like his predecessor, Jermane Gresham, seemed to routinely make.

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And Eifert’s breakout performance opens up options that the Bengals offense hasn’t ever been able to utilize in the past. While the Raiders rolled coverage towards

A.J. Green

, they were forced to leave Eifert open time and time again. The Bengals’ future oppositoin will have to decide whether to double Green or Eifert. And if opposing teams try to double on both Green and Eifert, supporting receivers like

Marvin Jones

,

Mohamed Sanu

,

Rex Burkhead

and Giovani Bernard will be left open to run around at free will.

In Eifert’s rookie season, he amassed 39 receptions for 445 yards and two touchdowns. Eifert’s sophomore season was in the books after his aforementioned injury that limited him to three catches and 37 yards in less than one game of action.

So with limited career success, Eifert’s breakout performance came as a bit of a surprise. In just one game, Eifert has broken his career high for catches in one game (9), tied his career-high for touchdowns in a game (2) and is on pace to surpass his season-high yardage total by the end of Week 5.

“To go out there and have a great game and help our team win was great. So we just have to keep going. This is only Week 1. So let’s just keep getting better.” – Tyler Eifert

Tyler Eifert could be on the brink of a Pro Bowl-caliber season if he can consistently be productive; this Week 1 performance could be just a glimpse of what’s to come. The only thing that could seemingly slow Eifert down would be a significant injury, so he’ll have to prove that he’s a durable player. Either way, having Eifert on the field is vital to the success of this Bengals offense.

The Bengals have an expansive arsenal of weapons in the backfield and out wide, but Tyler Eifert is the key player who could help the Bengals’ offense take the next step past mediocrity and help the Bengals offense become more than just good.

With Tyler Eifert, the Bengals offense can be great.

Next: Bengals Decimate Raiders in 33-13 Victory

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