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Stare Unbelieving: A.J. Green is Simply the Best

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On last night's podcast, CJs own Joe Goodberry said that watching Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver A.J. Green was like watching a unicorn, because you just can't believe what you're seeing. If many fans feel the same way, I wouldn't be surprised, because unless you've been following the Bengals for a very long time, then the number of magic ponies and rookie Cincinnati receivers like Green you've seen are the same: zero.

Through six games, Green has 29 catches for 453 yards and 4 TDs. The last time the Bengals had a rookie wide receiver even pass that ballpark on the freeway was 1994, when Darnay Scott recorded 323 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 grabs in his first six games (all, by the way, losses). From there you have to set the wayback machine to 1985 to watch Eddie Brown snag 19 balls for 316 yards and two TDs. Chris Collinsworth (1981) and the incomparable Isaac Curtis (1973) are the only two other Bengals wideouts to get to 300 or more yards receiving in their first six games, and Green still has more catches and TDs than either of them.

The closest -- and I use the term very loosely -- any receiver has come to doing what Green has done in recent memory is the much-maligned Peter Warrick, who was 20/246/1 in the first six games of the 2000 season. Chad Ochocino barely rates a footnote with 148 yards and a TD on 12 catches in the first six contests a year later, and the late Chris Henry managed only 175 yards and a couple touchdowns over his first six tilts in 2005.

The bottom line is that there's just no comparison in Bengals' history to what we're seeing this year. We are indeed watching a unicorn: the best debut performance by a wide receiver in the 43-year history of the team. Which is another way of saying you should soak in every moment, because you may very well be dead before this happens in Cincinnati again.

Bengals Rookie WRs 1st 6 Games
Receiver Catches Yards TDs Year
A.J. Green 29 453 4 2011
Chris Henry 10 175 2 2005
Chad Ochocinco 12 148 1 2001
Peter Warrick 20 246 1 2000
Darnay Scott 17 323 2 1994
Carl Pickens 7 108 0 1992
Tim McGee 8 81 1 1986
Eddie Brown 19 316 2 1985
Chris Collinsworth 27 352 3 1981
Isaac Curtis 20 300 1 1973