In a dominating game, Atkins had two sacks of Robert Griffin III, on consecutive plays in the fourth quarter. The Browns never really had a chance to comeback in the game, but, he officially ended any hope of that with his first two-sack game of the season.
Atkins had two additional quarterback hits (total of four) and led the line in tackles (five). He raised his season sack total to 6.5, a half-sack off the NFL lead among interior linemen. Since 2010, Atkins leads all NFL defensive tackles with 49.5 sacks.
Atkins leads the Bengals for the season in tackles-for-loss (11), and he’s tied with defensive end Carlos Dunlap for the team lead in total QB hits (21).
This is the second AFC Defensive Player of the Week award for Atkins, who also was named for his performance in a 13-10 win at Pittsburgh in 2012.
No Bengals player has won one of the NFL’s Player of the Week awards this season. The most recent Bengal to win an AFC weekly award was defensive end Carlos Dunlap, whose blocked field goal at San Francisco in Week 15 of last season earned him Special Teams Player of the Week. The most recent Bengal to win Defensive Player of the Week was cornerback Leon Hall, in a 31-7 win over St. Louis in Week 12 of last season.
Congratulations to Atkins on this honor! Let’s hope he can replicate it when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town for a much tougher matchup in Week 15. Fittingly, Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week this week. So the best offensive and best defensive players from the AFC in Week 14 will be on the field at the same time on Sunday in Week 15.