How much praise can be heaped on one player without it seeming old? The answer would be "never", if that continued praise is justified. Such is the case with Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Throughout the course of the past two seasons, we here at Cincy Jungle have heaped unabashed love on the third-year lineman. He made the Pro Bowl last season and, given his play this year, he'll be Hawaii once again after the 2012 campaign is over.
So far this season, Atkins has racked up 37 tackles, three forced fumbles, and nine sacks. The sack total is the Bengals franchise record for a defensive tackle, previously held by Dan "Big Daddy" Wilkinson. In short, these stats sum up something that we already know: Atkins excels at rushing the passer.
But what of his performance against the run? The folks over at Pro Football Focus have complied some stats on the best and worst defensive tackles against the run this season and it makes for a great read. It's a simple formula that is based on run stops per snap.
Atkins comes in at No.4 in the NFL with 21 stops on 188 snaps, which equates to an 11.2% run stoppage rate. Only five of the top 20 run-stopping defensive tackles have played more snaps than Atkins and all are rated below him. So, there's really only two more questions to ask: 1.) Is there anything that this guy can't do well? 2.) When are the Bengals going to lock him up long-term?