A.J. Green, long-time Cincinnati Bengals’ cornerstone, draws a tough assignment in week seven as he attempts to keep his momentum going.
After a slow start to the 2020 campaign, A.J. Green finally had the kind of performance Bengals’ fans had been waiting for. Against the Indianapolis Colts, the star receiver flashed his old ability on the way to reeling in eight catches for 96 yards and routinely keeping the chains moving on third-downs.
At least for a week, Green put the chatter that he may no longer be able to contribute to rest, and showed the football landscape just what he’s capable of moving forward. As Zac Taylor and the rest of the Cincinnati squad stare down the barrel of a tough stretch of opponents, they’ll need to continue to get vintage performances from the stellar wideout if they are to find another win anytime soon.
Denzel Wards presents a tough matchup for A.J. Green
One strong performance won’t be enough to prove that Green still has what it takes to be a number one receiver. Now that he’s found his footing, he’ll need to prove it week in and week out against the best competition to quiet the doubters.
Speaking of the best competition, Green will face Denzel Ward in his week seven matchup, one of the top corners in the league right now. Tyler Boyd had this to say about the Browns’ lockdown defensive back,
"“He’s [Ward] probably one of the top guys we faced so far…He can cover, he’s got great speed. He’s everything you want in a corner.”"
In their first showdown in week two, the northern defender proved Boyd’s assessment to be true, holding Green to just three receptions for 29 yards. Considering Joe Burrow threw the ball Green’s way 13 times, that was an especially disappointing outing.
The dynamic has shifted a bit since then, however. The offensive line is beginning to pick up their play, which bodes well for Burrow continuing to connect and build chemistry with Green. Tee Higgins has also emerged in the Bengals’ offense, taking some of the attention off Green and giving Cleveland’s defensive coordinator another playmaker to worry about.
This time, there are no excuses to explain away a poor performance from Green. The rust is gone, he’s found his footing, and he’s had time to get acquainted with his rookie signal-caller, Joe Burrow.
That rookie quarterback will no doubt need his star wide receiver to be at the top of his game as he faces an outstanding pass rush led by Myles Garrett.