Cincinnati Bengals following Seahawks Recipe

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The Defense

Vontaze Burfict’s tenacity has undoubtedly led him towards becoming the Bengals’ heart and soul. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking of the “Legion of Boom,” the secondary is where the power of the Seahawks begins.  They’re clearly the best unit in the NFL and deservedly so after leading the Seahawks to the Lombardi Trophy.  But it may surprise you to find out that the Bengals secondary isn’t far behind.  Although the Bengals went about putting together their secondary in nearly the opposite way (nearly all-formers first round picks they either drafted or acquired through free agency), the unit is incredibly effective and did a great job keeping this defense afloat last year when it suffered a few devastating injuries.  Mike Tanier from Sports on Earth wrote an informative piece, while citing data from Football Outsiders, ranking the NFL’s top secondaries where the Bengals finished second behind only Seattle.

Clearly the Bengals secondary isn’t to be ignored and yet it seems to be an after-thought due to the Bengals incredible pass-rush and the presence of tackling-machine Vontaze Burfict.  According to ProFootball Focus’ pass rushing productivity stats, the Seahawks finished as the best in the league, while the Bengals finished seventh even with Atkins missing nearly half of 2013.  Based on the formula, it’s clearly possible that Atkins’ presence could’ve pushed the Bengals into the top five and possibly higher.  In a league that consistently emphasizes the passing game, getting to the quarterback and blanketing receivers is essential.  The Bengals seem to have this basis covered, which will be vital as they continue to lean on their defense while pursuing their Super Bowl dream.