While the team is on a two-game winning streak, Chase hasn’t been as involved in the action as we’ve grown to expect him to be, and the Bengals offense clearly has yet to live up to preseason expectations.
"It's frustrating as hell."— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) October 5, 2022
"I'm not happy getting double teamed. I want the ball."
Ja'Marr Chase knows it's a compliment, but he's had enough of the respect teams are giving him. #Bengals @fox19 pic.twitter.com/uhzgCYdW4D
Of course, that is no fault of his own, or that of the coaching staff. Defensive coordinators simply know what Chase can do to them, so they double-team him on nearly every play.
As a player and competitor, it’s no shock Chase wants the ball in his hands, but the good news is that he has shown no signs of allowing it to become an issue in the locker room. As frustrated as he may be, he still seems very happy to see the likes of Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd benefiting from the attention he garners from defensive backs.
Over the years, we’ve seen plenty of examples of receivers being divas who wanted the ball, regardless of how it affected their team. Chase is not one of them.
As the season progresses, look for Zac Taylor to find ways to keep Chase involved in the offense as defenses plan for him. This could mean moving Chase around the field, more involvement in the screen game or giving Chase more “smoke routes” when the defenders play off of the line of scrimmage.
Think of the short throw in the Divisional Round where Joe Burrow threw it short and trusted Chase to make a man miss. That short throw resulted in a huge gain, as “Uno” put a move on Kristian Fulton and raced downfield.
Chase wants the ball. We want Chase to have the ball. As the offense finds their way this season, finding ways to get the ball in his hands will be crucial.