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Cincinnati Bengals: 5 Players Vital to 2016 Success

matthewwillson
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) and quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) and quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) reacts after sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) reacts after sacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Vontaze Burfict

He could miss the first three games of the NFL season but one thing is for sure, if he can keep himself out of trouble, he is one of the best linebackers in the NFL today. They are lucky to have the leadership of Rey Maualuga, A.J. Hawk, and the youthfulness of P.J. Dawson, but nobody is more focused and intense on the field than Burfict, and this defense seems to feed off that.

Whether it’s believed that Burfict’s actions were “dirty” or not, one thing that can’t be argued is what he has meant to this team this season. In his ten games this season, Burfict had 74 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, and then one interception in the wildcard round, proved that he is a play maker and is a key piece to this defense.

If Burfict can stay healthy and stay out of trouble, when he does return, he is set to be one of the best players in the NFL next season. He can help them defend the AFC North title, and maybe even help lead them to a first round bye. Burfict’s contribution to this team goes well beyond the field and if he can keep that intensity and eliminate the immature penalties, then this defense will be incredibly difficult to beat.

Every player on this team will be a vital part to it’s depth. Whether they are starters or coming off the bench for an injury, it will take 53 players to make sure this team is ready every Sunday, even more if you include the 10 players on the practice squad. It will be up to every one of the players mentioned and those not mentioned to ensure a win come September.

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