Katherine Terrell, ESPN Staff Writer 332d

Bengals' offense has struggled, but DT Geno Atkins has been as dominant as ever

CINCINNATI -- Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins doesn't talk much. It's a long running joke among his teammates.

Want to know how Atkins feels? A "like" or retweet on his Twitter account is probably anyone's best guess.

Atkins both liked and retweeted two things on his social media accounts last week. One was an image put out by Pro Football Focus that named him one of the best defensive players of Week 2. The other was a video of Atkins hitting Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson so hard that Watson somersaulted backward.

"Geno Atkins just knocked that poor kid's soul out of his body," the caption read.

His teammates, who have seen such plays many times over the years, were nevertheless impressed.

"We watched that play a couple times," said Carlos Dunlap. "Then I had to watch it again on Instagram and everything. Deshaun is probably going to see it for the rest of his life. That’s Geno Atkins for you."

That was more than they got out of Atkins, who let the social media post speak for itself.

"Yeah, he’ll retweet and favorite it, but he’s not going to put no words in there," Dunlap said.

Perhaps Atkins doesn't have much to say because his dominance is nothing new at this point.

"I think this is his normal Geno dominant," Dunlap said. "He’s been dominating since he’s been in the league. I don’t want to say it’s any better."

In the wake of the Bengals' 0-2 start, the defensive play, and Atkins in particular, have quietly flown under the radar. The Bengals are allowing a league-best 104.5 passing yards per-game, which has been of little comfort to the defense after two losses. But part of that can be attributed to Atkins' ferocious pass rush.

Atkins is aiming for his seventh straight game with at least half a sack, which dates back to Dec. 11 of last season. He has three sacks in two games this season.

The NFL did not start officially crediting players with sacks until 1982, so his 55 career sacks unofficially ranks fifth in franchise history, behind Eddie Edwards, Reggie Williams, Ross Browner and Dunlap.

"That’s a heck of a streak," said Dunlap, who ended his rookie season in 2010 with a six-game sack streak. "I think I had one a couple years ago. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially for him to be able to do it and get one early in these games that’s helping us out a lot. He’s been very dominant."

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