Bengals: Respect Dre Kirkpatrick and The Secondary

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Nov 16, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) is defended by Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) and cornerback Adam Jones (24) during a NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium. The Texans defeated the Bengals 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into Week 13, it is time for the NFL and all football fans to respect Cincinnati. It is time for the league to respect A.J. Green and stop leaving him out of the top 5. It is time for the league to respect Andy Dalton and finally give him his respect, but most of all, its time for the league to give Cincinnati’s secondary some respect.

Earlier in the year, I made some remarks about Dre Kirkpatrick needing to step up. Now late in his first year as a starter, I have to give him some credit. Kirkpatrick has been playing very well this season. In his short time as a starter, Kirkpatrick has completely erased the idea of him being a draft bust.

On a week to week basis, Kirkpatrick is getting better and better. He is slowly proving why he was the top corner in the 2012 draft. While at times Kirkpatrick gets beat by wide receivers, he almost always makes up for it by making a equally good play.

On the other side of the field, is the notorious Adam Jones. Pacman has seemingly taken the reins of the number one corner. He is third on the team in tackles and he is second on the team in interceptions. Jones is the heart and soul of this team and his contributions go far more than just his corner position. Whether he is returning kicks and punts or and making big plays on the defense, Pacman is the real deal and could hold his own against any wide receiver in the league.

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In today’s league, a team must have three solid corners to be succesful. In Cincinnati’s case we have Dre, Pacman and one of the best Bengals’ corners of all time Leon Hall. Hall, who was recently named AFC defensive player of the week, has move up to seventh on Cincinnati’s all time list for interceptions according to Pro Football Reference. He would be well into the top 5 already if he didn’t lose two seasons to injuries.

Leon Hall is still playing at a high level, even if he mainly plays the slot. However, that is an even bigger sign to show just how good he is. Given that Hall is 30, has had two major injuries and can still cover smaller and quicker wide receivers.

As for the safeties, Reggie Nelson is leading the league in the interceptions and George Iloka is one of the best up and coming safeties in the league. The duo of Nelson and Iloka is perhaps one of the best in the league and there are not many teams, with the exception of Seattle, that have two safeties as good as Nelson & Iloka.

The secondary was even better when Darqueze Dennard was healthy. Even though he has been sent to IR, Cincinnati still possess one of the top secondaries in the league. After a 9-2 start and a number one ranked defense in points allowed, it is time to give this secondary some respect.

Next: AFC Defensive Player of the Week

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