Chicago Bears have no answer for Geno Atkins


With Kyle Long out of the lineup, Geno Atkins is going to have a field day against the Chicago Bears

Let’s face it, the Chicago Bears week 14 matchup in Cincinnati does not mean much to the fan base. It may not even mean much for the team as they countdown the days until the firing of John Fox.

However, the Bears are still going to have to show up for this game, especially on the offensive line. This a unit that has not lived up to expectations all season. Cody Whitehair has regressed, Josh Sitton is not living up to his name, and Kyle Long consistently has been hurt. This was supposed to be the strength of the entire team. Now it is equally as weak.

The weakend unit, one that features Tom Compton in place of Long will take on a defensive front that is quite easily the strength of the team for the five-win Bengals. This group is led by Geno Atkins. Atkins is going to see a lot of that underperforming interior line on Sunday. By all expectations, Atkins is going to tear the Bears offensive line apart whether they show up or not.


Atkins is a player with a large skill set. It is a combination of freak athleticism, technique and the ability to understand the game that sets him apart, and puts him in a tier with the elite players in the NFL. At 6’1″, Atkins is about two inches shorter than your average defensive tackle. However, in the play below he uses that to his advantage to create leverage, and use his pure strength to get off of a block.

Atkins literally starts from his knee. Nobody is getting lower than that. He has his hands inside the shoulders of Joe Bitonio, he out leverages the heck out him, stands him up and tosses him aside to shed free.

Tossing players aside is a specialty of Atkins. Again you can see he is starting lower and pushes up on 71, Xavier Su’a-Filo. He stands him up, has him backpedaling and tosses him aside to rush an incomplete pass.

If the play below does not define the strength of Geno Atkins nothing will. DeShaun Watson had a run as a rookie, but was welcomed to the NFL by Geno Atkins, who sent him flying through the air on a sack.

Double teams

His strength is his best attribute, and what it does is demand double teams. Unfortunately for opponents, the scheming for Atkins does not end with double teams, as he can regularly beat those.

Below, he bursts through a double team like Cosmo Kramer through the door of Jerry Seinfeld to tackle Frank Gore. Notice how he consistently has his pads lower than his opponents.

What he does below is just ridiculous. He inspires his inner frog, and leaps over two linemen to get into the backfield. He shows burst and quick ability to explode off of the ball, into the air, and with the power to land and hold off two 300-pound men as he captures Ty Montgomery for no gain on the one-yard line. This is why you are allowed to put him into that elite category.


That kind of savviness, and ability to surprise with a counter like that is not seen across the NFL too often. However, Atkins consistently uses counters and the by any given means mentality to find his way into the backfield.

How often do you see a 300-pound man pull off a spin move? How often is it as pretty as the play below? DeShone Kizer does not have a chance on this play as Atkins is in his face by the time he finishes his play action fake.

Again, the savviness of Atkins to expose 62, Brian Schwenke with a powerful swim move frees him into the backfield with ease.

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Atkins will line up all over the defensive line. He will see some of Josh Sitton, but the smart money is on him testing out the Bears right guard for the next month, Tom Compton.

The Bears can chip Atkins. They can double team him. They can run the ball away from him. It almost does not matter. Atkins is going to get his against this uneasy Bears offensive front, and he is going to prove why he is an All-Pro caliber player.