Cincinnati Bengals: Predicting The Stats Leaders For 2017

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Oct 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Geno Atkins (97) sacks New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports /

Tackles

The Bengals’ defense was led by Karlos Dansby and Vontaze Burfict last season in terms of tackles. The duo racked up 215 total tackles split between them. The Bengals are lacking depth at the linebacker position but have one of the best in the league in Burfict. Even though the 26-year-old has had his troubles, there is no doubting his talent. No one knows whether or not Burfict will mature enough to lead a defense in the NFL but if he does, the Bengals need that guy. Burfict will lead the team in tackles in 2017. He will stay healthy and avoid too many controversial hits which would keep him off the field. You can expect Burfict to register 110-120 total tackles next season.

Sacks

The Cincinnati Bengals have a great duo of pass rushers in Pro Bowlers, Geno Atkins (9 Sacks) and Carlos Dunlap (8 Sacks). Both led the Bengals defense getting to the quarterback. Atkins, from the 3-technique, can overpower offensive guards and centers with his speed and strength. Dunlap comes hard off of the edge and beats opposing tackles with his smooth pass rush moves and his athleticism. It’s hard to pick which of the two will lead the defense in sacks next year. My pick is Carlos Dunlap. Dunlap is poised for a great sack total in 2017. My prediction is that the defensive end will finish 2017 with at least 14 sacks.

The Bengals are expected to add another piece to their defensive pass rushers through the draft. If there is one thing that they need, it’s more consistency across the defense in pressuring the quarterback.

Interceptions

Cincinnati may have some tough choices to make in terms of the secondary. Adam Jones has his issues as well as free agent negotiations with Dre Kirkpatrick. Depending on the development of the Jones situation, the Bengals will be in a must-sign situation with cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. The Bengals were led in interceptions with three different players picking off 3 balls each. George Iloka, Shawn Williams, and Dre Kirkpatrick were the most active defenders of the pass.

Next: Lewis Isn't Moving

As a team, the Cincinnati defense totaled 17 interceptions. They were among the league’s best. Who will lead the team in interceptions in 2017? My pick is going to be George Iloka. At the backend of the defense, Iloka will get the chance to see a lot of deep ball throws. The safety should walk away next season with five or more takeaways.

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