Ja’Marr Chase receives high praise from Hall of Fame wide receiver
By Kristen Wong
There’s praise from Cincinnati Bengals fans, and then there’s praise from Hall of Famers. Ja’Marr Chase got the latter on Wednesday from one of the greatest wide receivers in the sport.
On an episode of Good Morning Football, Cris Carter paid his respects to the rookie for his incredible 2021 season so far.
Chase is coming off a 266-yard, three-touchdown game against the Kansas City Chiefs and currently holds the rookie record for most receiving yards in a single game and in a single season.
Many have compared the rookie’s trajectory to that of Randy Moss, including Cris Carter who played with Moss for a stretch on the Minnesota Vikings.
Carter, however, says Chase has Moss beat when it comes to being the best rookie wide receiver of all time.
Carter elaborated on the differences between Moss’s rookie career and that of Chase:
"“We had three Pro Bowl offensive linemen. We had a Pro Bowl running back in Robert Smith. We had myself opposite of Randy Moss. Some days, Moss didn’t have to do that. And it’s not saying that… nothing wrong with that. But what Chase is doing in Cincinnati, I’ve never seen it before.”"
Cris Carter considers Cincinnati Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase the best rookie WR
Both Chase and Moss recorded very similar production levels as a rookie.
Moss had 69 catches for 1,313 yards, averaging 19.0 yards per catch and adding 17 touchdowns. He had a 55.6 percent catch rate.
Through 16 games, Chase had 79 catches for 1,429 yards, averaging 18.1 yards per catch and adding 13 touchdowns. He had a slightly higher 63.7 percent catch rate. (Here lies the tombstone of that “drops” controversy.)
But whereas Chase has started in every game for Cincy, Moss started in just 11 games in his rookie year since Minnesota more so relied on the experienced, receiving talents of Cris Carter and Jake Reed.
The same could be argued for Chase (he has Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd), but what Chase noticeably does not have that Moss did is a strong offensive line.
Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-high 51 times in 2021. Though the Bengals’ O-line has come a long way since last season, it’s still struggled to keep Burrow upright. Imagine what Burrow could do with Chase if he had even more time in the pocket.
At the end of the day, the petty discussion of “Who did it better” may only appeal to football stat nerds. Both Chase and Moss have achieved incredible feats in their respective rookie years; both are set apart from the rest.
Chase’s first chapter in Cincinnati will close with a Week 18 matchup against the Browns.