SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30: Wide receiver A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 30, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk runs one of the premier NFL news sites on the internet today. Unfortunately, the site isn't always kind to the Bengals organization on the site, as it tends to jump on the Peter King-Bengal bashing bandwagon, as well as paint a picture of the Bengals still being a safe haven for criminals.
Every weekday, Florio does a video segment called "PFT Live" where he fields questions via Twitter and phone, as well as hosts prominent guests to talk football. Recently, Florio was asked a question on the Bengals' budding star receiver, A.J. Green, and what he felt fans should expect from him in terms of production.
Ironically, a Tweet was submitted to PFT Live from someone with the handle "SteelDawn85", asking Florio if Green would meet or surpass 2,000 yards and 20 receiving touchdowns. While the touchdown number wouldn't break any NFL records, meeting or surpassing 2,000 yards receiving would break records. On this question, Florio replied:
"I like high expectations...but the record in 1995 single-season receiving yards is 1,848 yards. Green would have to break Jerry Rice's 17-year old record. I don't' think he's going to be the first to break 2,000 yards. But, I think he's going to do better than (2011's stats of) 1,057. I think 1,500 is realistic, as we see Green and Andy Dalton and the rest of that team continue to gel and coalesce. They were surprisingly good last year and now have the benefit of a full offseason. I think he's got a better shot at 20 TD's than 2,000 yards. I'd say 1,500 yards and 14 TD's is realistic."
If Florio's predictions are correct, I think it's a foregone conclusion that Bengals fans (and fantasy football owners) would be ecstatic. Not only would this propel Green into superstardom, but Dalton would likely be joining him in that stratosphere. This type of performance would also likely indicate that the Bengals would be making the playoffs again in 2012.
While we have zero doubts in Green's abilities, we're reluctant to anoint Florio's predictions as something that is a definite for 2012. Without an established No.2 wide receiver on the roster, much of the opposing defense's attention will be on covering Green. He did beat double coverages in many occasions as a rookie, but there will also times that he was shut down because of defensive shifts.
So, while we expect Green to have another good season, we don't know if it will resemble Florio's numbers that he threw out. What's more likely to happen is that Green will open up other opportunities for players like Jermaine Gresham, Jordan Shipley, Mohamed Sanu, and others.