Goal #2: Line up more in the slot
The Bengals best play call in 2021 was Chase lined up outside the numbers in single coverage, and having him blow right by his defender for 30+ yard catches. Chase looked like the greatest vertical threat in league history at times last year – and he will definitely be taking the top off of defenses in 2022.
However, a major adjustment is coming from NFL defenses when it comes to Chase. He will face constant double teams and bail-out coverages. He will constantly face the best gameplans defenses can throw his way, he has certainly earned that respect.
Teams will desperately try to avoid single-high safety looks versus the Bengals – and try to turn the “big-play Bengals” into a methodical offense.
This is where moving Chase around, and increasing his slot usage, can be a major benefit to the Bengals’ offense.
It is tough on defenses when an elite WR can dominate in the slot. It’s also easier to increase Chase’s target share when he gets more slot reps. There are simply more completions available to the slot WR.
Expect the Bengals to keep teams guessing on where Chase will line up on every play. If teams want to sell out to stop the go balls, it is up to the Bengals to utilize the other tools in Chase’s bag.