September 23, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) shown on the sideline against the Washington Redskins during the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Bengals defeated the Redskins 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

Earning their Stripes: A.J. Green's Light Continues to Shine Bright

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Another tough loss Sunday was another unfortunate setback for a Bengals squad hoping to ascend to the next level of the NFL hierarchy and get back into the postseason, but there is one player who has not only climbed into the ranks of  the NFL’s elite, but now has to start being considered as the best receiver in the entire American Football Conference.

 

That player is Adriel Jeremiah Green. There weren’t a lot of bright spots coming out of Sunday’s gut-wrenching loss, but Green’s star continued to shine brighter than ever as he is quickly being regarded as the AFC’s top receiver, and by the end of the season, may be considered neck-and-neck with Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson as the NFL’s best wideout.

Green torched a Browns secondary that included Pro Bowl CB Joe Haden for seven catches for 135 yards (19.3 ypc) and two touchdowns. He now has 43 receptions for 628 yards and 6 touchdowns this season, and is on pace to finish with 112 receptions, 1,675 yards, and a ridiculous 16 TDs. He was also in for all 71 offensive plays, never once coming off the field as his team needed every play they could get out of him just to stay in the game. Trailing by 17 points with 5:21 remaining, his 57-yard TD kept the Bengals alive for what looked like a potential comeback after the Bengals got the ball back and had the ball in the redzone with 2:10 remaining, but ultimately fumbled it away.

Alas, his two TDs put him in a class with the likes of  Ickey Woods, Terrell Owens and, Pete Johnson, as they are all tied for 5th in Bengals history to go five straight games with at least one TD. While the Bengals season appears to be getting darkened with a cloud of doubt hanging over the team if they’re unable to defeat the Steelers this week, one thing is for sure: Green’s light will continue to shine bright.

 

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