Ja’Marr Chase vs. Tyreek Hill: Who’s better?

Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Reporters and media members will circle and flock around quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow. With both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals set to square off in the AFC Championship Game this upcoming weekend, most of the attention will be focused on them.

The winner of their highly anticipated showdown will walk off Arrowhead Stadium with a long list of superlative words thrown in their direction. For the loser, they’ll be forced to shoulder most of the blame, no matter how great they play.

In most scenarios, winning and losing on the football field have been pinned to the arm of that respective quarterback. And while this weekend will be no different, both Ja’Marr Chase and Tyreek Hill will have enormous say in what ultimately takes place.

With the exception of Cooper Kupp from the LA Rams, Chase and Hill are far and away the best receivers left in these playoffs and in the entire league. But as both men continue to perfect their route running and work on their ball catching skills before the big game, who should be considered the better receiver?

Let’s check the numbers

On its face, the answer would appear to be an easy one. Hill has the much longer resume: six Pro Bowl selections, three All-Pro nods, and a Super Bowl title are safely resting in his back pocket. But is he better than Chase at this very moment?

2021 regular season

  • Chase: 17 games, 81 receptions, 1,455 receiving yards, 13 TDs
  • Hill: 17 games, 111 receptions, 1,239 receiving yards, 9 TDs

Hill was his usual spectacular self this year. The speedy receiver consistently laughed at opponents before chucking up the deuces as they failed to catch him with the ball in his hands. His 111 receptions ranked third in the league amongst all receivers this season and he was safely placed in the top ten in both receiving yards and touchdowns, racking up 1,239 yards and nine touchdowns. While most receivers could only dream of putting those numbers, even with 30 fewer catches, Chase’s stats was considerably better.

Despite struggling to catch the ball during the preseason, Chase shrugged off those concerns by recording a monster first year. His 1,455 receiving yards were the most for a rookie wide receiver in NFL history. He also caught the third-most touchdowns in the entire league with 13. Chase also blew Hill out of the water when we analyzed his yards after the catch. Chase finished third in the season with 651, while Hill only checked in at 17th with only 444.

Although on the surface, Chase’s numbers were better but if we peek a bit further, Hill was right on heels. In terms of catching the ball, Hill had the better hands, catching 69.8% of the passes as opposed to the 63.3% that Chase managed to snag. Also, Hill was clutch when it came to moving the sticks. Over the course of 17 games, Hill made 75 catches for first downs. Chase, on the other hand, wasn’t in his league, finishing the year with 56.

2021 postseason

  • Chase: 2 games, 14 receptions, 225 receiving yards, 0 TDs
  • Hill: 2 games, 16 receptions, 207 receiving yards, 2 TDs

The postseason thus far has been incredibly close. Chase has recorded slightly more receiving yards with 225 to Hill’s 207, not surprising considering Chase became the first rookie receiver with multiple 100-yard receiving games in NFL history. He also just beat out Hill with 10 first down catches to Hill’s 8. Still, the postseason has been mostly used as Hill’s personal playground. He beats Chase in the touchdown department, 2 to 0 and more plays of over 20 yards, 4 to 3.

Picking a better receiver between the pair is both arduous and excruciatingly difficult. Also, in the grand scheme of things, the answer is ultimately extraneous. Both of these players, along with Kupp, represent the very top of the wide receiver bracket. While it was tough, give us Hill. He’s the fastest receiver in the league and an absolute game-changer.

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