A.J. Green had only three catches on 13 targets vs. Browns

Getty Images

The Patriots like to move on from a player a year too early instead of doing so a year too late. The Bengals, at this point, seem destined to be moving on from receiver A.J. Green a year too late.

Green, franchise tagged in 2020 with total compensation in excess of $18 million, has disappointed through two weeks. On Thursday night, quarterback Joe Burrow targeted Green 13 times. Green emerged with three catches for 29 yards.

As noted by NFL.com, Green becomes one of only three receivers in the last 10 years to have 13 or more targets and fewer than 30 receiving yards in a single game.

Through two games, Green has 22 targets, eight catches, and 80 yards.

Burrow had a plausible explanation for Green’s limited production.

“They started playing more two-high [safety],” Burrow told reporters after the game. “He was playing well at the beginning of the game. I missed some throws to A.J. again. I am just going to have to fix that. I can’t keep missing throws to A.J. when he gets open like he does.”

That’s fine, but Green had chances to make some of those catches and didn’t.

The broader question is whether the money devoted to Green would have been better spent elsewhere. Come next year, it most likely will be. If Green stays, he’ll likely have to take a lot less than $18 million.

41 responses to “A.J. Green had only three catches on 13 targets vs. Browns

  1. Well, he would’ve had a TD catch last night if the defender didn’t yank one of his arms off the ball.

    And he should’ve had a TD the week before if not for the bogus offensive PI. I mean, yeah, you can call that PI. But then you better call 15 of them a game. Consistency.

    Not a Bengals fan but its a little too early to write off Green. Burrow is targeting him. He has a certain level of confidence in him. Hes a rookie 2 games in, and Green is the target of the defense. Theyll get it together soon.

  2. I’ve always liked the kid but he looked rusty as heck last night. Hoping he plays himself back into elite status. Cincy should’ve acquired assets for him when they had the chance.

    Paging Jamar Chase.

  3. I am sure Browns DB Denzel Ward had something to due with Thursday’s showing.

    I thought Green was open in the endzone on a play and Burrows overthrew him on a guaranteed TD.

  4. A.J is one of my favorite receivers in the NFL. The silent assassin. He has always a pain in the butt for the ravens. Great guy too. However, watching the game yesterday, he looked slow and not gaining much separation. I wonder if this is just because he and Joe Burrow need to develop chemistry or could it be the beginning of the end for A.J? Being out of football all last year might be a factor. Also, father time will catch up with everyone, even the great ones.

  5. AJ Green’s best days are behind him. He’s a WR4 or WR5 at this point in his career. People forget that he’s in his 9th NFL season, so relying on him to be anything more than a short-route possession receiver isn’t realistic. His greatest contributions will be teaching Burrow about NFL coverages in the film room and how to act like a professional on and off the field.

  6. Green was shutdown by Ward and if you looked at his body language, he didn’t seem like he was 100% into the game. I do question the need for the QB to keep throwing to Green when it was evident that Green was having a bad day. If the team decided to feature other players, yesterday’s game was within their grasp.

  7. He’s 32 and coming off a full season lost to injury. I think it’s too soon to say done, but it’s not to soon to say no longer elite.

  8. There’s one hit in particular, early in the game, I was surprised AJ got up from. He got hit by two defenders, with one hitting his leagues.

    He will have to prove his durability at this point.

  9. I don’t know about AJ Green,…. but that Burrows kid looks like the real deal.
    He needs to improve on his decision making,.. especially eliminating some of the unnecessary hits he’s willing to take,… but he looks pretty calm as a rookie. Those 2 minute drives look better than many veteran NFL QB’s. He needs better protection up front.

  10. Much ado about nothing at this point. He’s still being targeted, which indicates the Bengals think he’s a big part of the offense.

    He hasn’t played in a season and a half and has some rust to knock off for sure. The Bengals also held him out of much of training camp, so the chemistry development with Burrow is still a work in progress. There were at least two balls that the Old Green would have come down with, and one in the end zone where the lack of reps together with Burrow was apparent.

    Burrow missed Green for a sure TD against the Chargers and a fairly innocuous move was flagged for the game winner. If Green had 10 catches for 150 and 2 TDs, no one would write about his demise.

    It hasn’t been a triumphant return, but it’s been two weeks and any issues are easily correctable.

  11. This is also the first time there were no pre-season games, so you can’t compare everything apples to apples. New coach, new system, new QB. You can’t get perfect timing down overnight. Burrow just missed Green by a whisker on two long plays. They’ll get that timing down soo, and Green will be in the pro bowl.

  12. rdforty2 says:
    September 18, 2020 at 10:46 am
    Well, he would’ve had a TD catch last night if the defender didn’t yank one of his arms off the ball.

    And he should’ve had a TD the week before if not for the bogus offensive PI. I mean, yeah, you can call that PI. But then you better call 15 of them a game. Consistency.

    Not a Bengals fan but its a little too early to write off Green. Burrow is targeting him. He has a certain level of confidence in him. Hes a rookie 2 games in, and Green is the target of the defense. Theyll get it together soon.
    ””
    Maybe it’s too soon to write Green off but he has looked bad through 2 games and it goes beyond just the few missed opportunities you mentioned. We will see what he looks like by mid season.

  13. AJ Green is a great player and a consummate professional. I seriously doubt at this point in his career that he’s worth 18 million. He did languish in Cincinnati for 9 years and they’ve treated him well. I like the guy and hope he turns it around and is able to stay healthy.
    I thought we saw 2 good young quarterbacks last night. Mayfield was solid. Burrow kinda looked like a rookie… but he looked like an awesome rookie

  14. They should have mutually parted ways prior to the season instead of all the AJ wants to be a Bengal for life crap when his name came up in trade talks.

  15. Denzel Ward covered an older broken down A.J. Green wow ( slow clap ) … I guess it’s super bowl time for the browns , right?

  16. He’s barely played the last 2 years and they have plenty of other young fast WRs. It was foolhardy to franchise tag him.

  17. Ward played good but green beat him a few times last night they just didnt connect. Before idiot brown fans start running their mouths about ward being the next revis keep in mind he gave up a td to Mike Thomas (not the good one). Green does look like he’s lost a step though, let’s see if he rounds into form or this is the new normal in that he’s no longer an elite but just a good wr. Ravens fans are very cool, they beat you and it’s no big deal, they lose to you it’s no big deal, you beat the browns it’s no big deal, the browns beat you, they bark and yap like they won the lottery. Jeez.

  18. Pretty much the same headline for half the league last week including OBJ who the media went in on for his sub par performance during the Ravens game . Basically the first half of the season teams will be playing like it’s pre-season. Can’t really judge anyone’s play right now. .

  19. Burrow’s strength is in being deadly accurate in under 20 yard throws. His deep ball is accurate but it’s a rainbow touch throw. I haven’t seen a 35 yard fastball out of him. Given the makeup of the QB in this offense, Tyler Boyd will be the #1. Bengals would be smart to trade AJ while they can. Still has gas in the tank but he doesn’t fit their offense. Maybe for a TE to replace Ozumah

  20. Green hasn’t really played in a couple of years. I’d say wait a few games to see how he comes back. As for Borrow, give me a break. Cincy finally got it right with Joe. You couldn’t have watched the Brown’s game and not come away believing that he’s special.

  21. Burrow’s strength is in being deadly accurate in under 20 yard throws. His deep ball is accurate but it’s a rainbow touch throw. I haven’t seen a 35 yard fastball out of him. Given the makeup of the QB in this offense, Tyler Boyd will be the #1. Bengals would be smart to trade AJ while they can. Still has gas in the tank but he doesn’t fit their offense. Maybe for a TE to replace Ozumah

    The only con coming out of LSU for Burrow was arm strength. He won’t throw a ton of elite passes of 35 yards and more of frozen ropes.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.