Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Ja’Marr Chase in 2022

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

As Ja’Marr Chase enters his second year on the Cincinnati Bengals fans, what should fans expect from the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year?

The Cincinnati Bengals were criticized for their selection of Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft. After all, their offensive line was a bleep-show the season before that and they already had Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins at the wide receiver spot.

Well, as we saw during the 2021 season, Ja’Marr Chase is a special player, and pairing him with his college quarterback allowed us to see him at his very best.

During his rookie year, Chase was one of the best receivers in the entire league, as evidenced by him winning Offensive Rookie of the Year. He had 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 85.6 yards per game.

Bengals Roster: What should fans expect from Ja’Marr Chase as an encore?

It’ll be difficult for Chase to replicate what he did as a rookie but it certainly isn’t impossible. He has Boyd, Higgins, Joe Mixon, and Hayden Hurst to compete with for targets but that was the case last year (only swap out Hurst for C.J. Uzomah) and look at the damage the kid did.

Fantasy Pros projects Chase to finish the 2022 season with 88.5 receptions, 1,374.4 receiving yards, and 9.8 receiving touchdowns. These numbers would be a setback from his rookie year but not by much. Fans would definitely still be happy about Chase putting up these totals.

A step back for Chase is a realistic expectation and it’s not as though fewer yards and touchdowns this year would be a disappointment for the former first-round pick. He had a rookie year for the ages and it’s not easy to put up those numbers year after year, not to mention other teams are aware of his capabilities now and have an entire offseason to game plan for him.

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Ja’Marr Chase certainly could blow past the 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns he had as a rookie but a more realistic expectation for him is to go over the 1,200-yard mark and 10 touchdown total.

Either way, we can be pretty certain that he’s going to ball out in 2022.