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Tee Higgins continues his ascension

Bengals’ rookie receiver outstanding in defeat

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts
Tee Higgins
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of finger-pointing going on after Cincinnati’s disappointing loss to the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. But it was not all bad news for the Bengals.

A.J. Green finally broke out of his season-long slump with eight catches on 11 targets for 96 yards. And Tee Higgins continued to assert himself as one of the up-and-coming receivers in the NFL.

Higgins hauled in six of the eight passes thrown his way and went over the century mark for the first time this season with 125 yards.

For the year, Cincinnati’s first pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft now has 22 catches for 339 yards. This after being held without a catch in the opening game of the season.

“Yeah, that’s what I expect every week,” Higgins said after the game. “All of us in the receiving room – we expect to go out there and make plays for our team. I was able to make the plays that came my way. I only had one drop that really bothered me, but other than that I was just out there trying to help my team get a W.”

Higgins helped his team get out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, and the Bengals seemed well on their way to their second victory of the season. But the NFL (not for long) is not always so simple.

“Yeah, it’s tough,” Green said, “but this is the NFL — tales of two different halves. I’ve been in this game a long time. I understand a 21-point lead going into halftime, or whatever it was up by 14 (points) going into halftime. It really doesn’t mean anything. These games can turn around very quick.”

And, despite the best efforts of Green and Higgins, that is exactly what happened.

Higgins very nearly picked up his third touchdown of the season after a 67-yard reception late in the first quarter, but the ColtsRock Ya-Sin dragged him down at the 2-yard-line.

“Oh yeah, definitely. I should have scored,” Higgins said. “He caught me but it definitely was a lesson learned moment.”

Hopefully, it was a lesson learned moment for everyone, from the coaches on down.

“I just feel like we didn’t capitalize on offense,” Higgins said. “They started moving the ball. At the end of the day, we just have to capitalize when things don’t start going our way and we have to make those plays on third down.”