Could Ja'Marr Chase break Calvin Johnson's single-season record in 2024?

Cincinnati Bengals, Ja'Marr Chase
Cincinnati Bengals, Ja'Marr Chase / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

Wide receivers are getting paid left and right, and the Cincinnati Bengals now have their work cut out for them with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

One would like to think Chase isn't going anywhere and that it's only a matter of time before he gets his new deal. Higgins, on the other hand, is in a different and more unpredictable situation. Will the Bengals be able to keep Higgins long-term, as they plan to do with Chase?

If Higgins ends up on another team in the near future, then Chase could have a chance to really do something special -- and he'll need to, if the Bengals' offense is going to keep up. Just how special? How about breaking Calvin Johnson's single-season receiving record.

Recently, Johnson spoke on his record and how he believes it should wind up being broken with the way wide receivers have taken off in today's NFL:

"I mean, it's bound to fall at some point the way it's going, so it is what it is. I held it down, I don't know even know how long, over a decade now."

How Ja'Marr Chase could break Calvin Johnson's single-season receiving record in 2024

First of all, it's going to be much easier for Chase to break that record of 1,964 yards if Higgins winds up in another uniform. But, regardless of what happens with Higgins, let's look at some numbers.

In Johnson's record season, he had the following line:

122 receptions
204 targets
1,964 yards
16.1 yards per reception
5 receiving touchdowns

For comparison, last year, Chase had the following line:

100 receptions
145 targets
1,216 yards
12.2 yards per reception
7 receiving touchdowns

Needless to say, Chase has some work to do. But, let's break it down into simpler terms. Obviously, he'll need to see quite a few more targets. Chase only received double-digit targets in five games in 2023. In those five contests, Chase averaged 14.2 targets per game, which would have put him on track for a whopping 241 on the season. Is it any coincidence, though, that the Bengals won all five of those games which saw Chase receive over 10 targets?

I don't think he'll see 241 targets this coming season, but what if he was to see an average of 12 per game? Furthermore, if Higgins is somehow not on the team, or struggles with injury again, Chase is bound to be more involved. And, one has to take into account that Joe Burrow only started 10 games last year. If Burrow is healthy for a full 17 in 2024, production is going to go up all-around.

Back to Chase getting 12 targets per game. That equates to 204 on the season. And, he if were to keep a similar catch percentage (68.9 percent) as last year, he'd wind up with 140 receptions on the season.

In order to break Johnson's record on 140 receptions, Chase would need to average just over 14 yards per reception, which isn't too much to ask for. In fact, as a rookie, Chase posted a ridiculous 18.0 yards per catch while going for 1,455 yards on the year.

The math doesn't sound too far fetched, but it will boil down to whether or not Burrow is healthy and giving Chase the proper amount of targets. Look, we've established the fact that good things happen when Chase is targeted often. So, let's hope we see it happen in 2024.