3 realistic goals for Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase in 2022
By Lukas Moore
Ja’Marr Chase overperformed massive expectations in 2021 to break the Cincinnati Bengals’ single-season mark in receiving yardage. Can Chase raise the bar even higher in 2022?
Ja’Marr Chase was so good for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021 that middle-aged men in the state of Ohio not only learned how to griddy, but did it with unbridled enthusiasm and joy.
His blinding speed made elite defenders seem slow, and his unlimited swag made other star receivers seem dull. Chase might just be the coolest player in the NFL, and possibly the best-dressed.
I mean this guy convinced Joe Burrow to get a grill. Not a charcoal grill for those Ohio cookouts. A legitimate diamond grill for the boy born in Ames, Iowa, and raised in Athens, Ohio. Chase’s energy is a contagion, and the belief in his ability has never been higher.
“My biggest goal this year–not just this year, but going forward–will probably be the triple crown,” Chase said on the IAMATHLETE podcast. Leading the league in yards, catches, and touchdowns is a lofty goal.
Only four wideouts in NFL history have accomplished the feat, Cooper Kupp in 2021, Steve Smith in 2005, Sterling Sharpe in 1992, and Jerry Rice in 1990.
Although Chase is certainly capable of achieving this goal, (he finished 20th in catches, fourth in yards, and third in touchdowns) actually winning the triple crown would be a monumental achievement.
So what are the ‘realistic’ goals for Chase in 2022?
All stats and rankings courtesy of Pro Football Reference
Goal #1: Be the best run-blocking WR in the NFL
The most surprising part of Chase’s 2021 season was his commitment to run-blocking. It’s not often that a star WR is a plus as a run-blocker, but that’s exactly what Chase did in 2021.
We all remember when he showed Bengals fans that he can block just as well as Penei Sewell would’ve been able to when Cincinnati walloped the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit.
The tape is full of stuff similar to this from Chase, and his effort in the running game drew praise from the coaching staff and his teammates.
Another year in the same blocking scheme, added strength in his lower body, and just plain old experience will make Chase an even more effective blocker. If he is able to master this craft, he might be able to grab the mantle as the NFL’s best run-blocking WR.