Let’s take a look at the top 10 catches of the game for Week 8.
#10. Carter Bodies the Defender
This was a short gain, but a huge play for Burrow and tight end Cethan Carter.
The Bengals had 3rd and 1 and were in a formation that screamed “run,” but instead Burrow ran a boot.
Carter was the h-back on the left side of the formation. On the snap, he crossed behind the offensive line. A Titans defender matched up with him three yards deep in the backfield, but Carter kept working toward the sideline and gaining depth.
Just as he got to first down depth, Burrow threw him the ball. Carter did a great job of boxing out the defender to prevent him from making a play on the ball despite tight coverage.
This kept the drive alive and led to the Bengals’ first touchdown of the day.
#9. Tate “Reaches” 1st Down Marker
Auden Tate had a great day on Sunday.
In this clip he made a great catch on a short flat route, but it’s what he did once he had the ball in his hands that was really impressive.
Tate is not known for his speed, but that’s just fine. His ability to run after the catch is about his size and strength.
It was 3rd Down and his route was well short of the 1st. The defense closed in quickly and 2 players hit Tate when he was about three yards short of where he needed to get to move the chains, but Tate dived forward and reached his long albatross-like arms out past the 1st Down marker.
This play set up the series of downs that Carter converted in the previous clip and eventually led to a touchdown.
#8. Tate Fights to Move the Chains
This ball was a little behind Tate as he ran the slant route, but he made a great adjustment reaching back to make the catch.
He showed off his strength fighting the tackler to pick up a few extra yards and the 1st Down.
Another big play for the big Bengals receiver.
#7. Green Will Not be Denied
A.J. Green was not a huge factor in this game, largely because his matchup with cornerback Malcolm Butler made other options more viable, but here he comes down with a big-time catch.
On this play Green ran an in-breaking route and sat in the open hole in the coverage. Butler broke on the ball and did everything he could to rip it out of Green‘s hands, but to no avail. Green would not be denied.
He made the catch for a 13-yard gain and a 1st Down.
#6. Tee up another 1st Down
On 4th and 5, Burrow had faith in rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins to make the play.
Burrow had plenty of time to throw and eventually threw deep over the middle to Higgins. Three Titans defenders quickly closed in, but despite taking hits from all angles. Higgins held on to the ball.
This was a huge conversion that led to a touchdown that extended the Bengals lead to 10 before halftime.
#5. Mustachioed Maneuvering
Running back Giovani Bernard can do it all. He is a skilled runner, an elite pass protector, and an excellent receiver.
On this goal line play he lined up at receiver and ran straight into the flat. Burrow’s pass was a little behind him, but Bernard adjusted and turned up field for the touchdown.
This was a great adjustment by a special player.
#4. Tee-diculous Catch
How about this freaking catch pic.twitter.com/L3rM25c2BP— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) November 2, 2020
Someone in the booth must have noticed that the crosser was open on the boot completion to Carter referenced above, because a few plays later that’s where they went with the ball.
This was a tough play for Burrow who had to throw opposite of the direction he was running. The ball came in high, but Higgins plucked it out of the sky with ease.
Higgins has incredible hands and an amazing ability to adjust. He is going to be a star for the Bengals and if you think this play showcased his rapport with Burrow, check out the next clip.
#3. 85 looking like Ocho-Cinco
Joe Burrow and Tee Higgins forever pic.twitter.com/Do4QvFeKJd— Evan McPhillips (@emcphil) November 1, 2020
This is the type on insane play that made Burrow a star at LSU.
He scrambled to his right and almost nonchalantly threw a perfect sideline pass to Higgins down the field. Of course a perfect sideline pass requires a perfect sideline catch, and Higgins had just that on this play.
He reached out to make the catch and in the true form of another number 85 for the Bengals he planted both feet in bounds.
This was an incredible play!
#2. Tate Goes Up
Earlier we saw Tate use his size and strength to drag defenders reach for 1st Downs. This time he reached up in the air to convert the 1st Down.
It was 3rd and 6. The Bengals were up by 11 and needed to convert to keep using clock and close out the game.
Burrow threw the ball up to Tate on the sideline and the 6-5 receiver did an incredible job of high-pointing the ball and coming down with the 1st Down reception.
This play was the icing on the cake after what was already an impressive day for Tate.
It’s crazy to think that a catch like this wouldn’t be #1 on the list, but the top play was so crazy, it doesn’t even make sense.
#1. Burrow to Boyd Glitch
3rd & 9 to ice the game vs. the Titans' cover-1. I mean c'mon pic.twitter.com/03L3zZCjrv— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) November 2, 2020
This was the sort of play that would make someone angrily hit the reset button on their Super Nintendo if the opposing team completed it in a game of Madden ‘96.
Clearly it is a glitch in the game.
How does Tyler Boyd even see this ball? He just turns and there it is!
This play was nuts.
It came on a 3rd and 9. The Bengals were already up, but if they were forced to kick a field goal on this drive it would have remained a two-score game. The Titans would have retained a glimmer of hope.
This play set up the touchdown that extended their 4th quarter lead to 17 points.