One of the more disappointing things we've seen this season is Chad Ochocinco's complete disappearance from the offense, similar to Andre Caldwell's drop-off-the-face-of-the-Earth act in the second half of last season. As a result, Terrell Owens has become Carson Palmer's favorite target, being thrown to 15 times more than Chad this year, and the difference in production shows. Both receivers are within five receptions of each other, yet Owens has a 160-yard difference with a 3.2 yard/reception improvement over Robin. After Ochocinco's 12-reception performance against the New England Patriots to start the season, Chad hasn't recorded more than four receptions in any game since, and yardage-wise, his biggest production came against the Cleveland Browns, picking up 59 yards with 42 yards coming on a single play.
No matter how you look at it, Chad's season is off to a slow start. His 26 receptions and 316 yards receiving both rank 32nd in the league. Coming into the season, Chad recorded 130 receptions that went for 20 yards or more. He has three this year. Coming into the season, Chad recorded 38 receptions of 40 yards or more. He has one this year. In fact, Chad ranks fourth among active players with Randy Moss (76), teammate Terrell Owens (63) and Joey Galloway (51) recording 40-yard receptions. Owens and Chad are the only teammates that have recorded at least 39 receptions for 40 yards or more.
Then again, it's not necessarily all Chad's fault. With defenses rolling their coverages against Chad, creating plenty of double coverages, Carson Palmer has simply preferred Owens, who is generally single covered.
All of that being said, save for touchdowns, Chad is actually on pace to equal last year's production where he made the Pro Bowl -- benefit to injuries with other receivers, but whatever, the Pro Bowl is the Pro Bowl.
With the team resuming their regular season this Sunday, now it's time for Chad to put up.
“The panic button is going to get hit. You go into a hole at 2-4 and that’s tough,” The Ocho said. “Especially with the schedule we have, that’s tough. We’ve got Atlanta, then we’ve got Miami and it doesn’t get easier when you keep going down the schedule. You’ve got Indy, you’ve got Pittsburgh, oh my God, yeah. This is much needed, big time. Big time. So we’ll be fine, trust me. Trust me. Because once I start talking (bleep), it’s on.”