Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase will ‘flop’ in 2021, per Bleacher Report
By Kristen Wong
Cincinnati Bengals rookie Ja’Marr Chase has been one of the most highly touted prospects in 2021, but that just means he has farther to fall.
Kristopher Knox at Bleacher Report recently listed players and teams who could fail to live up to offseason expectations and included Chase as one potential “flop” this season.
Considering preseason performances, camp updates, injuries, and other factors, Knox believes Chase will “flop” the same reason Lamar Jackson “flopped” last year. Jackson still took the Ravens to the playoffs in 2020, but after his 2019 MVP season, the fact that Jackson didn’t even get a Pro Bowl nod could be considered a failure. Hence, the relative definition of “flop.”
It’s true, expectations for Chase to break into the Bengals’ offense couldn’t be higher going into the season. He was the first receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft and has an undeniable connection with former LSU teammate and star quarterback Joe Burrow, so that’s promising, right?
Ballooning optimism surrounding the young wideout may soon be stuck with a pin as Knox points out all the reasons Chase won’t be a high-impact dominant player in 2021.
Cincinnati Bengals: Ja’Marr Chase listed as one of NFL’s biggest “flops” in 2021
Through two weeks of preseason, Chase has recorded just one reception for 16 yards and gotten a failing grade from an NFL analyst for his butterfingers. In Cincinnati’s last preseason game against Washington, Chase had three drops on three targets, and he continues to flounder in practices.
With regular season quickly approaching, Chase has been unable to shake off the rust (he opted out of the 2020 season) and looks anything but game-ready.
Burrow might not even perform at 100 percent this season, given his recent return from injury, so Chase can’t count on any special treatment there. And if Chase doesn’t perform out of the gate, the Bengals can afford to bench him with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins as their top two receivers and a dark horse candidate in Auden Tate.
All too suddenly, Chase will be thrust into the spotlight after posting an atrocious preseason record and hardly deserving his already small share of targets.
Knox bets the kid won’t be able to handle it and that he’ll “flop” big-time. The league never had any mercy for rookies, anyway.
This one hurts on a personal level, mostly because I picked Chase on my fantasy team this season. Join me in praying that he does, at the very least, okay.