JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09: Wide receiver Jerome Simpson #89 of the the Cincinnati Bengals looks for a penalty against the Jacksonville Jaguars October 9, 2011 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
When asked about quarterback Andy Dalton possibly relying too much on wide receiver A.J. Green, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said:
"I'd probably rely on him, too," Gruden said. "We try to get him the ball as much as we can, obviously. The other guys just have to do a better job of taking advantage of opportunities."
Jerome Simpson, we're looking at you.
The numbers don't lie. Simpson has been targeted 89 times this season, hauling in only 40 receptions for a conversion of 45% this season. He has the lowest conversion of the top five receivers, including Jermaine Gresham, on the team. Andre Caldwell, registering a 54.4% conversion on passes he's targeted, has the team's second lowest and that's nearly 10% higher than Simpson.
At the same time we'd be remiss if we didn't point out something about these numbers. How many are targets that would be impossible to catch? Difficulty of receptions have to be weighed as well, as do poor throws from the quarterback. A perfectly placed throw to Andrew Hawkins on a five-yard bubble screen is surely easier than a reception during a double-team on a pass thrown too high.