2. Ja’Marr Chase
Ja’Marr Chase was a crucial part of this game for the Bengals converting multiple first downs, including a big 40-yard catch to open up the third quarter, which later put the Bengals in a position to score and get the momentum back on their side.
Chase had six catches for 77 yards and had zero drops in the win over Jacksonville. He had a blatant offensive pass interference on the first Bengals drive, which stalled the offense and led to a missed 43-yard kick by McPherson, but besides that, Chase had a clean and yet another impressive game add to his rookie campaign.
Even though Tyler Boyd led the way in catches and yards, the defense was zoned in on Chase throughout the game. Chase often found himself double-teamed, especially on deep routes, which may take him out of the equation to make a play, but it opened up many opportunities for Boyd, C.J. Uzomah, and Auden Tate to make plays in single coverage so the impact that Chase had on each play was still just as significant.
The Burrow to Chase connection seems to be on point each week, and it looks like it’s getting better each week. Chase didn’t find the end zone for the first time in his NFL career, but it was good to see the two connect on passes other than deep shots downfield.
The former LSU Tigers often found each other on quick slants, back-shoulder throws towards the sidelines, and even screen passes, which will make Chase even more of a dynamic receiver. If teams realize he is more than just a serious threat, then they will be forced to play him around the line of scrimmage, and that is exactly when those shots will come into play, and he’ll find more opportunities.