Tyler Boyd’s season certainly did not finish the way he had hoped.
Through the first 10 games of the season, Boyd had racked up 69 receptions for 710 yards and seemed like a lock to go over 1,000 receiving yards receiving for the third straight year. Against the Giants in Week 11, Boyd managed just three receptions for 15 yards. The following week against the Dolphins, he started with a 72-yard touchdown reception, the longest of his career, before getting himself ejected early in the second quarter. He had a more Boyd-like five catches for 43 yards in Week 14 against the Cowboys.
With three games remaining and a Monday-night matchup against the Steelers next on the docket, Boyd needed just 160 yards to hit the magic 1,000-yard mark once again.
“Despite getting 1,000 yards back to back, or three times in a row, I still don’t feel I’m getting the respect that I deserve,” Boyd said before the game. “I want to show everybody what I’m capable of, that I’m not a one-hit wonder, that I’m a true receiver in this league.”
Things don’t always go the way you would like. Boyd suffered a concussion early on against the Steelers and left without a single reception. He was forced to miss the Bengals’ Week 16 victory over the Texans, but made it back for the season finale against the Ravens.
Going against Baltimore’s stout defense, Boyd managed just one reception on three targets for one yard. Over the final six weeks of the season, Boyd managed just seven receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Of course, Boyd’s drop-off in production also corresponds to the injury suffered by Bengals’ quarterback Joe Burrow’s in the Week 10 loss to the Washington Football Team. With Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley under center, Boyd simply couldn’t keep up the production. He finished the season with 841 yards receiving on 79 receptions, with four touchdowns.
Now five years into his career, Boyd, the Bengals’ second-round selection in the 2016 NFL draft, has 321 receptions for 3743 yards and 19 touchdowns.
After a promising rooking campaign that saw Boyd amass 54 catches for 603 yards and and one score, year two was a major disappointment and even had some pundits throwing the word “bust” around. Boyd finished that season with just 22 receptions for 225 yards and two touchdowns, but he bounced back in a big way.
In 2018, Boyd turned in the first of two straight 1,000-yard seasons, finishing with 76 catches for 1,028 yards and seven scores. 2019 saw more of the same as Boyd racked up 1,046 yards on 90 receptions with five touchdowns. He also lost an uncharacteristic two fumbles.
But, with a healthy Burrow and a motivated Boyd, there is no limit on what the duo might accomplish next season, and in seasons to come.