In a league that is becoming increasingly more “pass first,” top level NFL receivers are at a premium. COwboys receiver, Dez Bryant recently opened a can of worms when he claimed in a radio interview that he was better than Calvin Johnson. Seriously? Is there a receiver on planet earth that is better than Megatron? On paper, probably not. But touchdowns are caught between the lines and not on paper.
With that in mind, an objective review of the current stats through 7 weeks reveal a number of receivers who could claim the title of “Receiver of the Year…So Far.”
In no particular order, here are my top five “Receiver of the Year” candidates after 7 weeks:
Wes Welker – leads the league with touchdown catches at 8
A.J. Green – near the top in all major statistical categories
Calvin Johnson – Look up “Beast” in the dictionary and you will find Johnson’s photo
Dez Bryant – Nudges out Julio Jones by a whisker
Demaryius Thomas – Ranks high in most stat categories
- Dez Bryant Comparisons to Calvin Johnson Not Unwarranted (bleacherreport.com)
- Nate Burleson scoffs when Dez Bryant compares himself to Megatron (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Rankings and grades: Jason Hatcher is NFL’s top-ranked DT; Sean Lee No. 2 among inside linebackers (cowboysblog.dallasnews.com)
The Bengals head to the Windy City for their season opener against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The Bears will line up on Soldier Field without Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Brian Urlacher, Walter Payton, or even the “Fridge.”
They will have Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Deven Hester in uniform and available to play. Problem is, that doesn’t seem like nearly enough against the newly jacked Cincinnati Bengals. Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis have loaded this team with all sorts of offensive talent and Mike Zimmer has built an imposing defense anchored by Geno Atkins in the middle.
With Jay Cutler playing like, uh, Jay Cutler, and Brandon Marshall being dinged up, don’t expect the Bears to make much impact through the air. The O-line will have trouble with Cincinnati’s ferocious front seven and Cutler will have little time to distribute the ball. For the Bears to stay in the game Matt Forte will have to pound out 100+ yards and a few touchdowns.
Meanwhile, look for Andy Dalton to spread the wealth to his bonanza of big time offensive playmakers. Obviously, A.J. Green will continue to be his “go to” guy but expect Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham to catch some balls down the field as well. The run game should be much improved with the addition of Gio Bernard along with the “Law Firm,” Ben-Jarvus Green Ellis.
No “shuffle” for the Bears this weekend. Prediction: Cincinnati 27 – Chicago 10