What’s Next For The Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Rookie Of The Year in 2022?

June 7, 2022

When the Cincinnati Bengals selected Ja’Marr Chase with the 5th overall pick, many loved it, and many didn’t and thought the Bengals should have gone with an offensive lineman. But winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, I think, pretty much quieted the doubters.

As below average as the offensive line was, they made the right decision by drafting Chase. He proved that by leading the Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receivers in all statistical categories. He was more than just a rookie receiver last season. After just one season, he proved himself to be one of the best and most talented wideouts in the league.

On the ” I Am Athlete” Podcast led by Brandon Marshall, Ja’Marr Chase mentioned his goals for the upcoming 2022 NFL season after sitting down with Chad Ochocinco, Adam “Pacman” Jones, and Omar Kelly.

“My biggest goal probably gonna be not just yet but going forward probably the triple crown. I am saying because I can’t probably top the things that I did. So triple crown is what it gonna have to be.”

Essentially Sports with the quote

Triple Crown for the former National Champion?

For Ja’Marr Chase to win the triple crown this year, he would have to do precisely what Cooper Kupp did this past season. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it is when as a wide receiver, you lead the entire league in three separate categories, which are total receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. It is tough to do, but as I mentioned, Cooper Kupp did it just last season. Winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year is one thing, but winning the triple crown is a different animal. Only four players in the Super Bowl era have accomplished it (Jerry Rice, Sterling Sharpe, Steve Smith, and Cooper Kupp)

It is simply pure dominance through the 17-game season, and most importantly, you must stay healthy throughout the majority, if not every game.

This past year the former LSU Tiger and National Champion had 81 receptions (20th), 1,455 receiving yards (4th), 13 receiving touchdowns (3rd), and averaged 18.0 yards per catch (2nd).

So when you look at it from that perspective, it seems doable. However, the Cincinnati Bengals still have Tee Higgins, a 1,000-yard wideout, Tyler Boyd, one of the best slot receivers in the league, and a borderline 1,000-yard receiver. Then we can’t forget Joe Mixon, who was 2nd in the AFC last season in rushing yards and is a 1,000-yard rusher with ease when he remains healthy.

Those guys will factor into Chase’s production. There will be times when they benefit Chase by freeing up space for him. However, there will also be times when they limit his output due to a lack of targets, and those are certain sacrifices you need to make to be a part of a successful team.

It wasn’t too long ago when people were saying Ja’Marr Chase couldn’t catch the ball. They were mocking him for his comments that the football looks different from the college to the pros, and after week one, most of those comments went away when he busted loose for a deep ball that Joe Burrow placed perfectly to Chase, which led to a touchdown right before the half. And that continued to occur more and more as the year went on.

What should the Cincinnati Bengals receiver expect to see in year two

The biggest thing to look out for this season will be how defenses defend him after having a year of film. The schemes should be much more complex for Chase to handle. At least that would make the most sense.

Chase was one of the best receivers in the league when it came to single coverage. He was almost unstoppable when only one man was covering him. Even the best cornerback in the league, Jalen Ramsey, had trouble handling Chase one-on-one in the Super Bowl.

Expect more double teams this year, but that could also pave the way for guys like Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd to see more single coverage looks, and with Higgins size and athletic ability, that could be a blessing for his game this year.

That is what is so dynamic and outstanding about this Cincinnati Bengals offense. Having a three-headed monster and then a running back that you can’t forget about force defenses to constantly make adjustments throughout the game.

Football is a game of adjustments, just like any pro sport. It’s like a game of chess. But keeping defenses off-balance and making them predict what the next play could be instead of knowing what the next play is a drastic difference and makes a serious impact on the success of the offense.

Having a balanced run attack mixed with receiving threats can do to a defense, and that’s precisely what will lead to success. Once the Bengals became one-dimensional last season was exactly when you saw them lose games (Bears, Jets, Browns). Sometimes people overlook just how important a player like Joe Mixon truly is to this team’s success and to other players like Ja’Marr Chase’s success.

If the Bayou Bengal can win a triple crown in year two, he would just be doing exactly what he said he was going to do, just like he did on draft night when he said in his first interview as Bengal that he was going to break all the records they have. Of course, he’s got a ways to go, but he already broke all Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver records, so who’s to tell him otherwise?