2. WR Ja’Marr Chase
Remember when Ja’Marr Chase couldn’t catch passes in the preseason and many believed he was destined to be a bust?
No? Me either.
Any preseason struggles Chase had, well they are well behind him at this point, and thus far, he’s making a strong case for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
In his first eight games, Chase has caught 38 passes for 786 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s third in the league in yards behind Cooper Kupp of the Rams and Deebo Samuel of the 49ers.
He has surpassed 100 yards in a game three different times, including a 201-yard performance against the Ravens in a game people started to take the Bengals seriously.
Denzel Ward returned to practice this week after missing last week’s game against the Steelers with a hamstring injury. Ward is going to have to be all over Chase, with the likes of John Johnson III and Ronnie Harrison Jr. helping out.
Chase is doing special things in his rookie campaign and the Browns must gameplan accordingly. He has shown he is capable of busting off big gains after the catch. Cleveland has to limit his touches and bring him down immediately whenever he catches a pass.
The Jets held Chase in check, giving up three receptions on eight targets for 32 yards and a touchdown.
He said he wants the connection with quarterback Joe Burrow to be better than Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. So far, the duo is well on their way to that, but still has a way to go.
Many believed it was foolish of the Bengals to pass on offensive tackle Penei Sewell in favor of Chase with the fifth pick in the draft. I was one of those people and I was wrong. Chase is having a special rookie campaign.