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Jessie Bates’ postseason was one of the best by a safety in recent memory

The Bengals safety had an up and down regular season, but he showed up when the team needed him most.

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Every Cincinnati Bengals fan is waiting on the edge of their seat for the team to sign safety Jessie Bates to a long-term deal.

While we wait, we can all look back on how ridiculous of a postseason he had.

Bates’ regular season wasn’t one of his best. He even mentioned how the looming contract situation was on his mind. It appears he got that turned around during the team’s post season run.

These numbers may not have a huge sample size that goes back decades, but it does quantify a position that many fans have a hard time understanding.

Cincinnati was fortunate that Bates come up with his two opportune interceptions in the playoffs. He set the tone against the Tennessee Titans by intercepting Ryan Tannehill on the very first offensive play. He also took away a Los Angeles Rams scoring opportunity by intercepting a deep Matthew Stafford pass in the end zone.

However, even when he wasn’t creating turnover, Bates was constantly around the ball. One area he really improved on was in the running game. He was able to shoot through the line of scrimmage or force running backs out of bounds for a short gain. That shouldn’t be lost in all the talk about his great pass coverage.

You can also make the argument that Bates has shown just how well he has learned the game after his first four years in the league. He just has the ability to read a play and make a jump on a pass or a run to really contain some of the best offenses in the NFL.

It is just another stat that shows how great Bates has become, and how valuable he is to this defense that has proven it can carry a team to a championship. If you have a doubt about paying him, consider what may have happened on all those pass plays where Bates was able to make a difference. He would be a devastating loss to a defense that is just getting its footing.