In Pro Football Focus’ list of the top performances by an NFL defensive tackle last season, the only player that made the list three times was none other than big Geno. No other NFL player made the list twice. He tied for the 10th best performance in his Wild Card matchup against the Houston Texans:
"Atkins was simply too much for Wade Smith to handle, picking up a hit and two pressures on him and a sack on Mike Brisiel. His work when the Texans ran was even more destructive; he chalked up two tackles for short gains and another for a loss. Two fine performances."
He also made the list for his Week 11 performance at Baltimore:
"The second performance from Atkins to make the list and one the Ravens would rather forget. A sack, three quarterback hits, and a pressure weren’t all Atkins was able to do–he also found himself picking up three tackles for short gains and another for a loss. It’s worth noting that some of his success came against a stud guard like Marshal Yanda which only serves to highlight how well Atkins played."
His highest ranked performance was the 4th overall best, his Week 15 game against the St. Louis Rams:
"You almost knew Atkins was in for a big day when you saw that Jason Brown was in the lineup at guard. So it proved as the Bengal destroyed him time and time again. Brown wasn’t the only one to struggle with Atkins who finished the day with a sack (plus a forced fumble), two quarterback hits, three more pressures, and two tackles for losses."
The most impressive part wasn’t that he made the list three times, but two of those performances were against two of the best teams in the AFC. He had one of his best games of the year against the Houston Texans in a win-or-go-home scenario, a time when we typically see NFL players playing at their highest level. He dominated the Texans offensive line, one of the best in the NFL, and showed that he can play at an elite level for an entire NFL season without wearing down. Its become evident that Geno’s highest level is better than that of most NFL players.