Game Ball: Vontaze Burfict


Dec 29, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) reacts to a call during the game against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

This is almost more of a season-long game ball. Vontaze Burfict earned this year’s tackling title by adding 11 solo tackles and 3 assists in the win against the Baltimore Ravens and finishes the regular season with 116 solo tackles, 55 assists, and 171 combined tackles.

He has led the Bengals in tackles in 15/16 games and has been the defensive leader since the early exit of their Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins. He proved once again why he deserves to be in the Pro Bowl, and also entered his way into the talks for the AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

Burfict has dominated against the run game and has also led the defense to a top 5 season against the run game. Vontaze gets this week’s game ball after leading the defense in two early stops after Andy Dalton threw back to back interceptions, holding Baltimore to only two field goals.

He helped contain Ray Rice, Bernard Pierce, and Bernard Scott, as the defense held Baltimore to only 47 yards on the ground. He also shut down the screen play numerous times in the first half as they got pressure on Joe Flacco early and often.

Burfict will be a key heading into the playoffs as Cincinnati looks to remain undefeated at home against the San Diego Chargers this Sunday and help the Bengals reach their ultimate goal: The Super Bowl.

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