A.J. Green was a little frustrated.
It's not driven from an emotion of selfishness or single-minded personal glory. That's not the personality of the anti-Chad. Yet the Cincinnati Bengals have a wide receiver that generated 97 receptions for 1,350 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns and the team fails to target A.J. Green in the first half against the Houston Texans?
We can hear Herm Edwards shouting, "hello?".
Whether it's Andy Dalton going through his reads that dictates progressions away from Green or the offensive game plan designed to include other players like Jermaine Gresham, no targets to one of the best receivers in the NFL is insane. Though not directly a result, more like contributing factor, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Texans 19-13 in the first round -- their second first-round loss in consecutive seasons in Houston.
"It's more disappointing because we had the team and we could have won that game if we put the plays together. We knew with that game we played one of our worst games," Green told Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer on Thursday. "Last year no one expected us to make the playoffs."
Green posted his first reception with 10:27 remaining in the third quarter and the Texans already leading 16-7. He was still the leading receiver for Cincinnati with 80 yards receiving and five receptions.
"It's tough in a big game and you're the go to guy and you don't get the ball in the first half. It's all frustrating," he said. "They had a game plan that had a matchup problem with Jermaine (Gresham) and they felt like they could go to him. Things happen like that. All games aren't perfect. That's one thing we need to build on. We just need to capitalize. Not only getting me the ball, but just making some of the big plays."
Cincinnati's offense generally struggled piecing together sustaining drives, generating 50 yards or more once that resulted in a 34-yard Josh Brown field goal with over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Joe Reedy concludes with Green's more optimistic nature looking at 2013.
Despite the late-season disappointment, Green did express some optimism about the receivers coming back next year – Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones and Andrew Hawkins. Besides working out with Calvin Johnson in Atlanta, Green said he expects the receivers to get together possibly as early as next month.