Now that we are about halfway through the regular season, it is time to start considering which players are deserving of the Pro Bowl. For this series, we will look at the three most deserving candidates for each team. Obviously, some teams will have more or less than three players selected to the Pro Bowl, but for simplicity purposes, we will discuss the top three. Here are the top Pro Bowl candidates for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Top Midseason Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowl Candidates
Green currently leads the NFL in both receptions with 59, and receiving yards with 896. The Bengals rank fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game and Green is responsible for over 40 percent of their 2,201 passing yards. The next closest players on the Bengals in both categories are Brandon LaFell with 378 receiving yards, and Giovani Bernard with 31 receptions. So far this season, Green has only caught three touchdown passes, but that’s still one-third of Andy Dalton’s nine touchdown passes this year. Clearly, Green is the most impactful player on the Bengals offense, and possibly the entire league.
Atkins is the big hole-stuffer on the Bengals defense. While Atkins’ stats may lead some to believe that he is not a large factor on the Bengals defense (15 total tackles and 3.5 sacks), anyone who has watched the Bengals play knows how much of a force Atkins can be. Atkins draws double-teams all game long, allowing his teammates to run freely and make tackles. Also, his presence allows fellow defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap to enjoy one-on-one matchups with offensive linemen. The duo of Atkins and Dunlap will continue to terrorize opposing offensive linemen and quarterbacks alike.
As previously mentioned, Dunlap is an exceptional pass-rusher, thanks in part to the monster that is Geno Atkins. Dunlap is currently tied for eighth in the AFC in sacks with five, and also leads the Bengals in that category. He has gone up against some of the top offensive linemen this year, with games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots. Dunlap also has two forced fumbles so far this season, further helping his case for a Pro Bowl selection.
Dansby currently leads the Bengals in tackles with 54 total and 34 solo tackles. He’s also tied for 20th in the AFC in the category, along with having three passes defended and a fumble recovery. Dansby was acquired in the off-season after spending the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Dansby must be enjoying being a member of a team capable of being a playoff contender, and the Bengals must be thrilled to have such a solid tackler in their linebacker corps.
Williams is second on the Bengals in tackles with 48 total and 33 solo tackles. Williams’ tackling stats are arguably more impressive than Dansby’s, considering that he is a safety. Williams’ tackle numbers tie him for 20th in the AFC and he also has an interception and a sack. Granted, both his sack and interception came against the Browns, but Williams has had a solid season so far and has made a pretty good case for Pro Bowl consideration.