Dec 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) and defensive end Michael Johnson (93) during the first half of the game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
The loss of Johnson would hurt even more with key-reserve Robert Geathers sitting on the Injured Reserve list, which leaves rookie Margus Hunt likely to see a jump in his playing time after being inactive through the first four games.
According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson is second in the NFL among 4-3 DEs in terms of overall rating (+13.6) and quarterback hits ( 7). He also received a 10.0 pass-rusher rating, meaning he pressures the opposing QB in 10% of his pass-rushes.
Johnson, who had been quiet to begin the season after recording 11.5 sacks last season, came out of his shell with 1.5 sacks against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3. He also had seven tackles, including five solo, and a forced fumble, but was held to just two tackles on Sunday.
Still, the rate at which he’s able to pressure opposing QBs make him a valuable commodity that the Bengals desperately need against Brady and the Patriots.