Ja’Marr Chase is breaking records again in Week 14
They said he couldn’t catch, but Cincinnati Bengals rookie Ja’Marr Chase has left all his critics in the dust.
Following a dry spell in which Chase posted 204 receiving yards in the last five games (Chase had 201 yards alone in Week 7 vs. Baltimore), the rookie was the team’s best deep threat in Week 14 against the 49ers.
Chase caught five passes for 77 yards all game, but two of those were fourth-quarter touchdowns. The first score was a 17-yard completion, and the second went for 32 yards. Both, in the eyes of Bengals fans, were equally jaw-dropping.
Chase’s production in Week 14 also made a bit of league and franchise history:
After Sunday’s game, Chase now has 60 catches for 1035 receiving yards and ten receiving touchdowns, averaging 17.3 yards per catch.
Cincinnati Bengals rookie Ja’Marr Chase is back to his record-breaking shenanigans
He’s the fifth rookie in NFL history with 1000-plus yards and 10-plus touchdowns in the Super Bowl Era. The others? Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Randy Moss, and John Jefferson.
Chase has been in elite company for quite some time, but a few crucial drops and extra defensive coverage has stunted his production in recent weeks.
Admittedly, his catch rate could be a little higher. With 98 targets so far this season, Chase has recorded a 61.2 percent catch rate, which is far below that of other top-tier receivers like Cooper Kupp (73.5 percent) and Davante Adams (70.3 percent).
Chase hasn’t merited WR1 status in the Bengals’ offensive scheme as Kupp and Adams have in their teams’ respective schemes, but he’s only a rookie and after Week 14, he’s trending in the right direction.
Chase’ biggest advantage in Year 1 lies in his chemistry with former LSU teammate Joe Burrow. Despite suffering a minor pinky injury in Week 13, Burrow showed his ruthless and methodical side driving down the field in the fourth quarter when his team was losing by 14 points.
Burrow and Chase couldn’t find each other again in overtime and Cincinnati suffered a tragic defeat to San Francisco, but even in a loss like that, Chase still shined.
As Cincinnati continues chasing that elusive postseason berth, Chase will continue blazing his own path as one of the Bengals’ best wideouts in 2021 and, hopefully, for many years to come.