Vontaze Burfict: Can He Help the Bengals Defense?

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Aug 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals have allowed more than 800 yards in the two games that Vontaze Burfict has been inactive from concussions occurring in week one and two. The Bengals defense has dropped in yards allowed from being a top 10 team to the bottom half of the league. Burfict is rumored to be on track for a week six return, but can one guy be the answer for this defense?

Vontaze Burfict is a leader on this defense and there is no doubt about that. After his departure in the Baltimore Ravens game, the Bengals defense allowed 16 points and almost suffered a week one lost, if not for a big play on an Andy Dalton to AJ Green touchdown reception. The Atlanta Falcons outcome was much different and Burfict’s absence was felt less than week one.

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Nonetheless, the Bengals defense has been missing their emotional leader and last years team leader in tackles since week 2 and that seems to have effected their performance. Plus, Paul Guenther has adopted a bend but not break philosophy that did not work on Sunday against a more dominate and experienced team in the Patriots. The Bengals gave up 732 yard in games Burfict played in, which doesn’t seem like a large drop from the two he was inactive for, but they allowed less than 100 yards in rushing during each game. In fact, with Burfict out the opposition has gained 354 yards on the ground, which is double the yards without Burfict. He does makes a difference.

Vontaze Burfict is one player for the Bengals and no he probably wouldn’t win games for the Bengals single handedly, but he will make a huge difference in a struggling run defense. He will make a difference for sure in week six, if he is cleared to return. I can’t wait to see number 55 on the field again, especially against a quarterback that can run.