Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
THE DALTON-GREEN CONNECTION
Who would have thought that a red-head rookie quarterback named Andy Dalton and a rookie wide receiver named A.J.Green could replace a (4-12) team, which had a former Heisman Trophy winner (Carson Palmer), a franchise leading receiver (Chad Johnson) and a future Hall of Famer (Terrell Owens) and improve it in to a 9-7 playoff squad.
Well, this is exactly what took place in Cincinnati within one season.
The eye of the Tiger, in fact, can be seen in the young QB, who has quickly developed great chemistry with the No.5 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Dalton, who is nicknamed the Red Rifle, has connected with Green 36 times for 493 yards and four touchdowns in the first five games, which has given the Bengals a (3-2) record so far this season.
“Once he gets into rhythm, he’s one of the best in the league.” said Green, the former Georgia Bulldog.
The Dalton to Green connection, in fact, could potentially be one of the deadliest combinations in league’s history for many years to come, especially when you consider the fact that, during his rookie season, Green became the first rookie wide receiver since Anquan Boldin, who did it in 2003. to make the Pro Bowl by catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns.
Green, who has exceptional leaping ability, great hands and an uncanny willingness to extend his entire body to make spectular catches, seemingly is unstoppable in man-to-man coverage.
And when Dalton spots it, he quickly tries to get the ball in his hands.
As a result, now Green is being mentioned in the same category with Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson.
Stat wise, Green’s 78.2 yards per game is the fourth most by any player in their first two seasons since 1970, which is slightly better than legendary Hall of Famer Jerry Rice’s average in his first two seasons.
By no means, am I comparing Green to Jerry Rice.
That would be foolish.
But A.J. potential is scary good.
Because after being named AFC player of the month, Green, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the first player in NFL history to reach 100 receptions, 1,500 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in only 20 games.
With the (0-5) Cleveland Browns next on the schedule, the Bengals will try to rebound from their loss against Miami Dolphins.
And despite the Browns 11 game losing streak, this inter-state battle won’t be a easy win for the Bengals.
Plus, Green’s skills will be tested by talented Browns’ cornerback Joe Harden, who is returning back to the starting line after a four game suspension for violating the league’s policy on banned substances.