The Cincinnati Bengals offense is going to be fun next season.
Joe Burrow looks like he will be starting the season behind an improved offensive line. He will also be throwing to a deadly trio of wideouts that should make his job a little easier to get the ball out early.
A fun discussion because of this is who will finish the season with the most receiving yards. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd were both cruising toward 1,000 yard seasons before Burrow’s injury derailed that milestone.
A.J. Green finished the year with only 523 receiving yards, but even when Burrow was healthy the two seemed to lack chemistry. Something Ja’Marr Chase, who will be replacing Green, has plenty of with Burrow from their time at LSU.
Here is a case for why each receiver could lead the Bengals in receiving:
We have to start with the longest tenured receiver on Cincinnati’s roster. Boyd has quietly become one of the league’s best slot receivers. He had 110 targets last season (two more than Higgins) and was an obvious safety net for Burrow.
Boyd may not have an insane athletic profile that makes him a prime candidate to leave defenders in the dust. He does, however, know how to get open. He knows where to sit in zones. He also probably has the best hands on the team. He and Burrow are also on the same page. After all, you don’t make this play if the quarterback doesn’t completely trust his receiver.
Joe Burrow/Tyler Boyd connection is special.— Malik Wright (@Wrightreportt) March 12, 2021
We saw a fantastic rookie season get cut short of what it could have been last season. Higgins really didn’t start to get major playing time until Week 3 last season, and then his production was hurt without Burrow throwing him the ball. Even with that, we saw glimpses of the ceiling that Higgins is capable of.
He showed off an incredible ability to go up and over defenders to catch the ball at its highest point. He also showed he had some power after the catch to break a few tackles. He also took over in the Texans game late in the season to the point where Brandon Allen should probably owe the rookie a dinner or two for securing him the backup quarterback job. We saw a good Higgins in 2020, but with Burrow back we may see him take a huge leap in production.
Now we get to the newest weapon in Burrow’s arsenal. Well, new to Cincinnati at least. These two wreaked havoc on college defenses in 2019 at LSU when they combined for nearly 1,800 receiving yards, 20 touchdowns and 84 completed passes.
There are two reasons Chase a=has a serious chance at coming in and leading the team in receiving yards. The first is he is stepping into Green’s spot that was targeted over 100 times last season. Will Chase have 100 targets? It will probably be close, but some of those targets may get more dispersed. It is still worth noting that he will be one of the starting three receivers on a team that predominately goes out their with three wide receivers a majority of the time.
The Bigger reason is Burrow and Chase have a connection deep. Burrow had a major issue hitting on deep passes in 2020. He and Green never seemed to get that quite down. Burrow and Chase having that built in connection on deep passes means even if Chase doesn’t get 100 targets his yards per catch could be the highest on the team. Especially if opposing defenses decide to force Burrow and this offense to beat them deep like last season.
Who do you think will lead the Bengals in receiving?
Who will lead the Bengals in receiving?
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