Days like Sunday are the reason the NFL is the most popular form of entertainment in the United States. When wild and unprecedented events occur, we can immerse ourselves in the drama and face the consequences. It is the players and the coaches who have to make sense of what has happened.
No one should be envious of the Cincinnati Bengals in their recovery from the loss, but no one should be digging their graves just yet.
Let’s take a look at how the rookies performed in another crazy game against the Green Bay Packers.
Rise in shares
Randy Moss is a decent name to tie up after five career games.
You’ve probably seen the statistics before. Ja’Marr Chase joined Moss this week as the only other 21-year-old wide receiver to reach 400 yards and five touchdowns in five weeks as a rookie. Enjoy this work of art from the great Seth Reese in case you haven’t.
Ja’Marr Chase through the first 5 games:
453 Rec. yards
Randy Moss through the first 5 games:
463 Rec. yards
Ja’Marr Chase is already in good company pic.twitter.com/KxYXyoAV95
– PFF (@PFF) 12 October 2021
Chase has been ready for that attention since the Bengals made him the fifth pick in the NFL Draft. But even the biggest homer couldn’t have secured that kind of start.
Against the Packers, Chase hit six of his seven catchable targets for 159 yards and a touchdown. Just another day at the office. Granted, Chase and his teammates were running roads against a Jaire Alexander-less Packers high school, but back to the 2019 SEC Championship game. Chase was âheldâ to three receptions, 41 yards and one scoring against the Georgia Bulldogs. He faced cornerback Eric Stokes in that game. Almost two years later, Chase had about half of his production against the rookie cornerback.
With 50 seconds left in the first half, Stokes began performing a slit fade route from Chase before passing him to safety Darnell Savage. But just like they did in college, Chase and Joe Burrow created magic on a broken piece. For the third time in five weeks, the two connected for a long touchdown during their two-minute pre-halftime exercise.
Like clockwork, Chase was ready to give the Bengals a boost before heading to the locker room. In an offense riddled with inconsistencies, this has been a constant welcome.
Three of Chase’s six receptions were on vertical routes, and head coach Zac Taylor wanted a few more as well. Burrow couldn’t get the ball to Chase on a few missed deep shots, but the duo connected for a few late-game fade routes, both coming in third.
This week seems like a good time to revive this topic of discussion, which generated a lot of reaction in the spring. Many have denied that an elite catcher can be as valuable as an elite offensive tackle. What more does Chase need to do to win over this crowd if he hasn’t already? Not only do we have his piece to back up data that has already been analyzed, but the anecdotal evidence is also strong from the opposition.
Davante Adams is gone in this game. This is normal, because it is Davante Adams. He had a tough game with Chidobe Awuzie and consistently erased the Bengals’ secondary for 206 yards on 11 receptions. Green Bay gained an average of 0.48 expected points added each time they targeted him. For reference, the Kansas City ChiefsOffense averages just under 0.20 EPA per game, and they lead the NFL in that category.
How could he do what he did despite the Packers playing their left third string tackle? The best receivers can add immense value to their offenses without relying on the variable of individual pass protection.
The value that Chase added to this offense is so palpable that you have to wonder what their record would be without him. He’s one of seven starting receivers who average three yards per course. Whether or not you want to call him elite right now, he plays and institutes his willpower at this level.
For a more in-depth look at how Chase performed, be sure to check out Matt Minich’s Film Room this week!
Cam example took advantage offensive line from the Packers on Sunday and arguably had his best game with the Bengals. On just 12 rushing snaps, Sample generated four pushes and a hit on Aaron Rodgers.
What’s promising is that Sample spent half his time either indoors or on the nose of the right tackle. His ability as an inner rusher is where he’s most valuable right now, and they need to use him in the future. Ideally, when Khalid Kareem returns from the injured reserve, he can take Sample’s snapshots on board and Sample can go inside to work full-time on the transmissions.
Finally, is it By Ante Smith time? Jackson Carman landed on the COVID-19 list on Monday, which calls into question his status for next Sunday. Smith will start for Carman at right guard if Carman is not allowed to play on time.
It really looked like the game Chris evans was going to be more involved. Joe Mixon was limited to just 19 shots, and instead of an even distribution of the workload between Samaje Perine and Evans, it was Perine who got the vast majority of the opportunities.
Evans finished with just seven snaps (a season high, believe it or not) and two catches on two targets that traveled 15 yards. Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan have been very consistent with the use of Evans so far. If that hasn’t changed this week, it’s hard to see it changing anytime soon.
They say it’s a game of thumbs up. You just hate it when it comes to kickers.
What to analyze with Evan mcpherson? A hit from the right post at 57 yards and hitting the flag connected to the left post at 49 yards is a difficult affair. Wind was certainly a factor, as I’m sure Mason Crosby would agree, and that probably kept Taylor from sending McPherson earlier in the game as they were at the gate of the shooting range. Kevin Huber kicked from the 41-yard line and 40-yard line for the Packers, respectively, before the fourth quarter.
Per Elias Sports Office, Sunday’s game was the first in modern NFL history to feature five potential missed field goals. McPherson literally went blow for blow with Crosby; the veteran was just more likely not to miss.
Confidence in McPherson shouldn’t wane at this point, but only those who have experienced the kicking traps can speak up to work on those funks. Considering the Detroit LionsLuck when it comes can’t buy a failed basket from their opponents this year, so it looks like McPherson has a solid rebound opportunity next week. At least he’ll wait to celebrate before the refs put their arms above their heads.
His COVID status aside, Jackson carman didn’t play very well, especially in pass protection. Pro Football Focus accused him of six authorized pressures, including four on real passes. It’s a stain on his young resume, and he may not be able to make up for it next week against the Lions’ weak inside defensive line. If Smith is playing well in his place, you must be wondering what that means for the second round pick.
Did not play
- Trey Hill (field basket unit only)
- Tyler shelvin (inactive)
- By Ante Smith (inactive)
- Darius hodge (inactive)