With 1:49 left in the third quarter, Jordan Shipley lined up in the slot on the right while Carson Palmer backed away from the offensive line in shotgun formation. It was third down with 12 yards to go with the Bengals trailing by 11 during their 22-point uprising. Shipley noticed that the secondary played off and that Atlanta's defense was gearing for a third-and-long blitz. When the football was snapped, the rookie wide receiver ran about five yards with the body language that said, "dude, you totally have to see me." Palmer read the defense exactly as Shipley did, with Shipley becoming the hot read and Palmer delivering the pass.
With deceptive speed -- I knew he was fast, but not that fast -- Shipley ran from the right hashmarks, across the field down the left sidelines without being touched. The consummate teammate, Terrell Owens, noticed that Shipley had one guy left to challenge towards the endzone. Owens, easily, took care of that problem, blocking the defender into the end zone so Shipley could spike the ball with the Bengals reducing the deficit to five points.
Shipley would go on to catch every single pass thrown his way, recording six receptions for 123 yards receiving and a touchdown.
Along with four rookies, Shipley is nominated for this week's Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. The other rookies include:
- Kansas City's Eric Berry: Three tackles, one interception and forced one fumble in the Chiefs’ 42-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Dallas' Dez Bryant: Account for 171 total yards and three touchdowns, including one on a 93-yard punt return and two on fourth-quarter receptions in the Cowboys’ 41-35 loss to the New York Giants.
- Carolina's David Gettis: Helped lead the Panthers to a 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers with eight receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
- Tampa Bay's Mike Williams: Five receptions for 82 yards and recovered a fumble that led to a Buccaneers’ field goal in Tampa Bay’s 18-17 win over the St. Louis Rams.
This is a fan vote, so it's your job to give Shipley some love. Go to NFL.com/Rookies and vote, vote, vote. Do it today, tomorrow and multiple times every day. Tell your friends, tell your family and your coworkers. Heck, tell your ex-wife.