Ja’Marr Chase is the real deal, folks.
As if that wasn’t obvious, Chase made everyone a believer Sunday in the Cincinnati Bengals’ biggest game in years.
With the Kansas City Chiefs and their high-powered offense rolling into Paul Brown Stadium, everyone knew the Bengals would need a great offensive performance to beat the team currently holding the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Chase made sure the Bengals got every bit they needed to take down the Chiefs.
The former LSU Tigers star managed to score not once, not twice but three times while finishing with a Bengals single-game record 266 receiving yards on 11 grabs. The record was previously held by Chad Johnson (260).
Ja'Marr Chase finished with a rookie-record 266 receiving yards today, fueled by perimeter receptions and big YAC plays...— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 2, 2022
Outside the Numbers: 10 rec, 256* yards, 3 TD
Yards After Catch: 155 YAC, +105* YACOE
*Most in NGS Era (since 2016)#KCvsCIN | #RuleTheJungle pic.twitter.com/3HEWVtSlmq
That was also the most yards a rookie NFL receiver has ever had, as Chase continues to break franchise and NFL records before he even completes his first full season. He clearly has a very bright future in this league alongside former LSU teammate Joe Burrow, who continues to look like an MVP candidate in just his second full season.
Chase now has 13 touchdowns this season, the most by an NFL rookie since Randy Moss had 17 during his 1998 season with the Minnesota Vikings.
OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR— z - Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2022
Watch on CBS pic.twitter.com/782L2cm6sa
“I’m so excited that I’m just overwhelmed by what’s going on,” Chase said after the win.
While it wasn’t a score, perhaps Chase’s most important catch came in the final minutes when he converted a 3rd-and-27, which put the Bengals at the goal line and helped them run out clock so NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs wouldn’t get another chance to score.
266 yards on the DEY for Ja'Marr. That's a team record for receiving yards in a game.— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2022
Watch on CBS pic.twitter.com/s7clFfPQEY
The Bengals are now 10-7 and division champs, marking arguably the biggest turnaround of any NFL team after they won a combined six games over the previous two seasons.
What a time it is to be a Bengals fan.