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Unique PFF stats shine light on Bengals players

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Why is Adam Jones still on the Bengals’ roster? Some of these stats can help explain that.

NFL: International Series-Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus has been sharing some interesting graphics on Twitter in recent weeks that offer surprising statistics. Many have featured Cincinnati Bengals players and how they’ve been playing in both the short- and long-term.

One player who was mentioned in two of the graphics is cornerback Adam Jones. From 2012-2016, Jones allowed the third fewest yards per coverage snap in the NFL (.94 yards per coverage snap). He’s only bested by Chris Harris of the Broncos and Richard Sherman of the Seahawks.

Jones was also the third most avoided cornerback in 2016 as he was targeted just 79 times on 632 coverage snaps. He actually played more snaps than all of the other top four players in the category. That’s especially impressive considering his age, 33.

Many fans believe Jones’ play declined in 2016 and critically analyzing, his play did regress from his 2015 Pro Bowl season to the 2016 season. But, Jones was still playing at a very high level in 2016 and opposing offenses took notice of that. You can see that here as when playing against the Patriots in Week 6 of the 2016 NFL season, Tom Brady threw into Dre Kirkpatrick’s coverage seven times, more than any other Bengals defender. Quarterbacks avoided Jones for much of 2016 and because of that, Kirkpatrick was put to work more often.

Elsewhere on defense, Geno Atkins ranks among the highest graded single-season interior players in the NFL from 2006-2016 as his 2012 season netted him a 97.1 PFF grade. Among interior defenders, only J.J. Watt has received higher PFF grades than Atkins did in 2012.

Another Bengals star on defense was called out for an impressive 2016 stat. Vontaze Burfict allowed among the lowest quarterback ratings when in coverage of all linebackers last season.

On offense, PFF took a look at Andy Dalton’s quick release, which was a little slower in 2016 than it had been from 2013-2015. You’d have thought he’d need to be —and want to be— faster in 2016 due to the offensive line taking a major step back in comparison to every other season Dalton has been with the Bengals.

PFF also compared Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to Dalton. PFF has graded Roethlisberger higher than Dalton every year, but, they had the smallest margin in 2016.

As for a player joining the Bengals this year, PFF called out seventh round draft pick Mason Schreck for his 4.6 yards after the catch average while in college at Buffalo. Schreck has an uphill climb to making the Bengals’ roster any time soon. But, he does offer a lot of potential and could be someone to watch this summer.