For all the ups and downs of the Cincinnati Bengals franchise, this is a team that has always been very fortunate at Wide Receivers.
Looking at players going back to guys like Tim McGee, Isaac Curtis, Carl Pickens, Cris Collinsworth, and the list goes on.When you talk about the top players at the wide receiver position of recent memory, two names that often come up are former Bengal wideout Chad (Ochocinco) Johnson and 2011 first round pick A.J. Green. Which leads to the question of which player would you rather have?
Before the infinite days of “Ochocinco,” Chad Johnson was arguably the best WR in the AFC. Johnson was a 6 time all pro, 4 time pro bowler, 3 time AFC receiving yards champion, and even in 2006 lead the league in receiving yards with 1,369 yards. Chad was also a part of two teams that won the AFC North in 2005 and 2009. But Chad only had one season of 10 touchdowns, 141 plays of 20+ yards and 40 plays of 40+ yards and that’s in a total of 11 seasons, 10 of which were in Cincinnati.
Then we come to A.J. Green, the man who has already shown the amazing ability to dominate and begin the pace to break the Bengals Franchise WR Records.
Green is one of just two players to have over 1000 receiving yards in each his first five seasons in the NFL, along with Randy Moss. In 2013, Green came very close to Johnson’s franchise record for receiving yards in a season with 1,426 yards. He also has gone on to have 10+ touchdowns in three seasons, has 85 plays of 20+ yards and 31 plays of 40+ yards.
In the post season their numbers look like this:
Green: 18 catches 232 yards, one touchdown in five games
Johnson: 7 catches 108 yards, no touchdowns in four games
If you can look past the frustrating times of “Ochocinco”, Chad Johnson was a fantastic talent who helped the Bengals get the start on turning their Franchise around. I can admit, I loved the days of “Who can cover 85 in 2005” and all his fun touchdown celebrations. But wasn’t a huge fan of the days of trade demanding on ESPN and the dreaded days of the “TOcho Show”
We obviously haven’t seen these actions from A.J. Green, but I do believe he has shown that he is a player that you can certainly build your franchise around and will be around for a very long time.