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A.J. Green dominant in Bengals win over Dolphins

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A.J. Green nearly tallied more receiving yards than the Dolphins did total yards during his dominant performance in Week 4.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

A.J. Green took complete control of the Bengals’ win on Thursday night, as he put on a show to help lead Cincinnati to a 22-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Green had 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown, and made highlight play after highlight play.

There was his first big catch, where he jumped right over top of Xavien Howard to make the catch like it was nothing. Hey Dolphins, why do you have Xavien Howard covering Green? Pro tip: that’s not a good idea.

“That was just Andy giving me a chance to make a play on the ball,” Green said. “Like I said, my job is to go out here and make plays, and that’s what I try to do every week.”

He then showed that he could shed tackles to score with ease.

He also showed that when Dalton’s accuracy isn’t perfect he can still go get the ball.

And then there was his best catch of the night. An incredible leaping snag.

If the Dolphins hadn’t completed a huge 74-yard touchdown in the first quarter, Green would have had more receiving yards than Miami had total yards. Nonetheless, Green finished just 49 yards short of the Dolphins’ total yardage, and that’s a lot more production than you’d usually expect from any receiver.

As impressive as Green was, this wasn’t even his best game this year. His trouncing of Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets in Week 1 was good for 180 yards and a touchdown, no doubt his best game so far. However, his destruction of the Dolphins’ secondary is further proof that Green is undoubtedly one of the best wide receivers in the league, and is sometimes undervalued by national media.

The fact that Green is underrated is something that teammate Jeremy Hill noted after the game.

“That connection (between Dalton and Green) is one of the more underrated connections in this league,” Hill said. “They don’t get the love that they deserve, and it’s a blessing and a pleasure to play with those men every day and just watch them go out there – that’s the key to every Sunday in and Sunday out.”

Green said after the game that this performance was partially due to his motivation from wanting to do better after dropping a pass last week.

“I hold myself to a very high standard,” Green said. “I know what I’m capable of, and when I don’t perform to that level, I’ve got to refocus myself. This week, I had to refocus myself on a short week. Coming off of last week, which wasn’t my best, tonight I had to make plays whenever the ball or the opportunity presented itself.”

Green said that the plan wasn’t necessarily to go to him as much as they did, but he “was just available.”

Green’s incredible performance was much-needed, as it was obvious that he’d be relied on heavily in the passing game after Eifert was ruled out again. Eifert is likely to return in Week 5, which will be a much-welcomed addition for the offense. Having the Pro Bowl tight end back will keep defenses from paying so much attention to Green, which will possibly free both of them up for big plays for the rest of the year.

Per ESPN Stats & Info, and according to Elias, Green and Dalton have the second-most yards by a quarterback/wide receiver duo who were drafted in the same year by the same team since 1980. Dan Marino/Mark Clayton (1983 draft) accounted for 8,469 yards and Andrew Luck/T.Y. Hilton (2012 draft) accounted for 4,131 yards.

This bounce-back from Green after his drop last week offered a huge boost in confidence for him and the rest of the offense, and now that the team is back to .500 they’ll hope for the Dalton-Green connection to continue being dominant. There’s no reason to believe it won’t be.