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Bengals 2018 season awards: Defensive Player of the Year

It was one of the worst performances ever by a Bengals defense in 2018, but some stars still shined bright.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals’ defense had a lot of issues in 2018, but some of their veteran guys held strong and put up statistically-sound seasons. Given the tumultuous nature of the season for that side of the ball, it’s a wonder there were any positives to be taken away, but one Pro Bowl nod on that side of the ball was doled out.

A couple of young guys also played well as rookies, giving hope for more production in the years ahead. Cast your vote and sound off on your winner for the Bengals’ Defensive Player of the Year!

Geno Atkins: Another year, another double-digit sack performance by the Pro Bowl defensive tackle. His 10 sacks were the highest on the team, as were his 13 tackles for loss. He was second on the team with 19 quarterback hits and continues to be the engine that makes the entire Bengals’ defensive engine run.

Carlos Dunlap: It wasn’t the same statistically-explosive season we’ve seen from Dunlap here and there in his career, but he was solid. He was second on the team with eight sacks, and his 21 quarterback hits were the highest on the team. Dunlap also had two forced fumbles, a recovery and eight passes defended.

Shawn Williams: It was a breakout year for Williams, whose season didn’t start off on a good note. Even so, he led the team with five interceptions, including a pick-six in the season finale in Pittsburgh. Williams was also second on the team with 110 tackles and nine passes defended.

Jessie Bates: If Willams edged out Bates for the team interception lead (five to three), Bates III wasn’t going to let his counterpart get the best of him in the tackles category. Bates was tops on the team there with 111 and had a pick-six, as well as seven passes defended.

William Jackson: We were reluctant to put any of the members of the first round cornerback club on the list, as Jackson, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard all had goose eggs in the interception category. Still, Jackson ended with a pretty high 73.4 Pro Football Focus rating for the year, was first on the team with 13 passes defended and only allowed 38 receptions to opposing receivers, per PFF.

Sam Hubbard: The future looks bright behind Dunlap and Michael Johnson with Hubbard and Carl Lawson. The former Buckeye played well in a rotational role last year, ending with six sacks, a forced fumble, a recovery and the critical touchdown against the Dolphins in Week 5.


Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ 2018 Defensive Player of the Year?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Geno Atkins
    (296 votes)
  • 3%
    Carlos Dunlap
    (18 votes)
  • 9%
    Shawn Williams
    (52 votes)
  • 26%
    Jessie Bates III
    (149 votes)
  • 2%
    William Jackson
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Sam Hubbard
    (31 votes)
  • 0%
    (4 votes)
564 votes total Vote Now