Ja’Marr Chase has three drops in second preseason game

NFL: AUG 20 Preseason - Bengals at Washington Football Team
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Bengals receiver Ja'Marr Chase entered the NFL with sky-high expectations. His early work at the pro level may be causing the bar to drop.

And drop is the key word.

Chase dropped three passes in Friday night’s preseason game at Washington. All three came on third-down plays. If caught, each play likely would have resulted in a first down for Cincinnati.

It’s still way too early for Chase’s underwhelming work in training camp and the preseason to cause concern for the Bengals. He opted out in 2020, so he’s still getting himself reacquainted with the game of football — and it’s happening at a level of football he’s never before experienced.

I’ve got to take it slow,” Chase said earlier this month. “I realized this offense is very detailed. I had to take my time. The first couple of days I wasn’t doing so well. Of course. I kept pushing forward. Me sitting out that year, I’m not going to be so fast getting back to my normal self. It’s all mental. It’s all mental right now.”

The talent he displayed in 2019 at LSU is undeniable, and it came against the highest level of competition that college football has to offer. As he gets his preseason work without former teammate Joe Burrow throwing the passes, Chase understandably is going to need some time to get comfortable, especially when (as happened with one of the drops on Friday night) the throw takes him in the direction of a defensive back who would have been able to deliver a potentially big hit.

The question of whether the Bengals should have drafted tackle Penei Sewell has lingered since the decision was made to give Burrow not a protector but a weapon. Although anything that happens during the games that don’t count doesn’t matter, it’s definitely going to make some wonder whether the Bengals may have gotten it wrong. It will be up to Chase to prove through reps and time and far more catches than drops that the Bengals made the right call.

Still, the clock is ticking inevitably toward Week One, when Chase and the Bengals host the Vikings. That’s when Chase will, or won’t, begin the process of proving that the Bengals took the right guy.

Then there’s the fact that Chase’s career won’t be defined by anything that happens in his rookie season. Indeed, there was a rookie receiver who dropped a bunch of passes 36 years ago. Things ended up working out pretty well for him; his name was Jerry Rice.

49 responses to “Ja’Marr Chase has three drops in second preseason game

  1. 3 weeks into training camp? If you look at Lions camp, Sewell has struggled quite a bit in pass protection…so?

  2. The cowboys have proven what a quality O-line can do for a team. Ezekiel has looked positively mediocre since the O-line in Dallas went by the wayside.

  3. Sometimes it seems like high draft picks put a lot of pressure on themselves. Forty Niners fans remember Jerry Rice’s first three years in the league dropping all kinds of passes. Chase has a long way to go before he gets close to what Rice was doing, and those were regular season and post-season games, not pre-season. I’d just relax. He’ll get through it. It is frustrating, but it can happen. Catching the ball is all mental. Chase had his drops going inside. He was afraid. Rice just flat out had balls fall right through his hands when he was behind DB’s, with only grass between him and the end zone. He was joining an 18-1 super bowl winner, and the stage was likely just too big for a small town kid, but he eventually made the adjustment. He might have even found his answer in a can of Stickum, but he eventually stopped dropping passes, and the 49ers got back to winning super bowls.

  4. Watched Chase against my Gators and others in college and no doubt the man had talent. But the college game and the pro game still have differences to bridge and WR is one of those positions where you have to see it at the next level I think to confirm what you believe a college guy can do. Tons of hyper talented guys just don’t translate and sometimes it’s inexplicable why or why not. So Cincy may have a truly dynamic WR, but I’m happy my Lions took Sewell he looks like a higher % to be a + lineman than at this point Chase does a +WR.

  5. He will be fine.t Still would have taken a tackle protecting the franchise is by far more important. Just ask Andrew Luck.

  6. Even if Chase turns out to be an excellent pro, the Bengals should have taken Sewell. How can you not protect Burrow after the year he had?

  7. A few pre season games does not a career make but it’s a worry.
    If it’s any consolation to Bengals fans, Penei Sewell looking ordinary at best. (that is being kind)

  8. Hard enough for a vet to come back, but opting out for a year before even taking the first big step up to the NFL gotta be twice as tough. I thought it might’ve dropped him to the 2nd-round except for at Bengals and being Burrow’s prime college weapon.

  9. You know who didn’t have a bunch of drops his rookie year? Tee Higgins. The Bengals already picked their #1 WR last year and now they double-down on the position in 2021 when protecting Joe Burrow is priority 1? What a dumb move.

  10. While Chase’s career may not be defined by it, if drops become an issue he definitely could be affected by it. Rice didn’t have to worry about his rookie mistakes being amplified, shared, forwarded and scrutinized by everyone with a mobile device, who would then message him directly, and/or hare with thousands more, their opinion and criticism of his performance.

  11. Well, Sewell has looked pretty bad also, so it’s hard to make the case that they should have drafted him.

  12. Overpaid Riley Reiff is not the answer. Should have played the long game, taken Sewell, and built through the trenches as opposed to drafting the shiny toy. Olines win games, not WRs. Even Calvin Johnson was part of an 0-16 team.

  13. It’s not even on the radar of worry. Guy didn’t play last year. I don’t expect him to at his best till probably mid season. It’s why I’m not picking him for rookie of the year. But fret not Bengals fans, for once you are heading in the right direction. You’re line still sucks but it’s not gonna get burrow killed atleast, so that’s a start and Chase and Higgins will be top pairing of wrs for the next 7 years. Take your lumps this year and build a line and defense through the draft and you guys will be contenders in the next two years..

    I’m happy for you Bengals fans. You finally have a front office doing it right. Also you have the best jerseys your team has ever had I bought a white Higgins and black chase. That’s a some sharp stuff ..

  14. He reminds me a little bit so far of Peter Warrick who was an all time collegiate great but was an average player at best in the NFL. I hope he proves me wrong…

  15. charliecharger says:
    August 21, 2021 at 1:16 am
    Sometimes it seems like high draft picks put a lot of pressure on themselves. Forty Niners fans remember Jerry Rice’s first three years in the league dropping all kinds of passes.


    Then Bill Walsh introduced Jerry to stickem

  16. It’s hilarious to see Bengal fans try and make it sound like Sewell is struggling. His first live preseason snap at RT (reminder he played LT in college) wasn’t good. However, the rest of his snaps looked good, he even pancaked a guy.

    After Burrow gets hurt again, they will be reminded of why the should of taken Sewell. History repeats itself. I just wonder if Burrow will pull a Carson Palmer and want out.

  17. Has BUST in fhe top 5 material written all over him. I don’t know how you draft a bust in the top 10.

  18. bostonblows says:
    August 21, 2021 at 9:02 am
    Waddle = Home run.

    4 14 Rate This


    Made O Glass

  19. You guys claiming Sewell has looked pretty bad are basing that on what, exactly? That first pass block against the Bills? The rest of that game he was terrific and the Lions have been very happy with him since they drafted him.

    Chase’s dropsies are his own issue, and claiming Sewell has been just as consistently weak as Chase is false.

  20. Chase was probably on the phone with AJ Greene, and already realizes he should do everything possible to get out of Cincy. Once he is cut, another legitimate franchise will sign him off the scrap heap & he will thrive !!

  21. Getting free off the line and getting open is what makes or breaks receivers, not typically dropped passses.

  22. finfanjim says:
    August 21, 2021 at 12:31 am
    3 weeks into training camp? If you look at Lions camp, Sewell has struggled quite a bit in pass protection…so?
    Not sure what Lions camp your watching because both coaches and players have been raving about Sewell and quick he’s learned and on how well he’s played at his new position as a right tackle . So to sum it up Sewell who also didn’t play last year and had to learn a new position is thriving while Chase is still struggling weeks into camp . While I hope Chase figures it out Sewell will prove to be the better pick and the Bengals will regret not taking him .

  23. touchback6 says:
    August 21, 2021 at 11:07 am
    bostonblows says:
    August 21, 2021 at 9:02 am
    Waddle = Home run.

    4 14 Rate This


    Made O Glass


    Ridiculous claim, the man had one serious injury. Good Luck covering him in week one.

  24. Let’s not forget….Jerry Rice had the dropsies his whole first rookie season in San Francisco. His career turned out pretty good.

  25. Good thing is that he was in position to make the catch and got his hands on the ball. I doubt he has forgotten how to catch a ball. Boys have been playing catch since grade school.

  26. If you can’t get off the line or get open, you are immediately cut. They will work with you if dropped passes is an issue because at this stage it is mostly mental. You guys don’t know squat.

  27. Man look at all of the bengal haters come out, crazy. Can’t say who will be the better pro between Sewell and Chase yet but give the guy a break he hasn’t played in over a year. Not to mention one of the passes that came his way was thrown right into a safety by Allen. Doubtful he will have the career AJ Green had but I’m confident Chase will be a solid pro and so will Sewell. Personally, I believe the Bengals made the right choice in Chase.

  28. Wasn’t he out of football for a year? As much as players don’t think that affects them, it does. Catching passes from the JUGS machine doesn’t help in pressure situations. DBs and LBs trying to take your head off will cause some hesitancy. I’m sure he’ll be fine and get plenty of opportunities. If Mixon gets hurt and the Bengals decide to throw it 40-50 times a game I’m sure he’ll be able to post some decent stats. But throwing it 40-50 times a game is not a recipe for winning football so there is that.

  29. Regarding Sewell, not sure where some of you are getting your info from. Thus far, insiders have raved at how he has looked at times. He has been beaten at times and is not dominant out of the gate. That is to be expected at 20 years old after a year off. Absolutely no one here is worried.

  30. As for Chase, it is silly to make a long term judgment on him this early. I was not very high on him as a top 5 pick and was terrified of the rumors the Lions wanted to take him. But this is strictly my opinion and I can be wrong. I believed him to be a very good prospect, but not the generational one it would take to justify a pick that high at WR. Wish him and Bengals fans the best.

  31. Raggard says:
    August 21, 2021 at 1:14 pm
    touchback6 says:
    August 21, 2021 at 11:07 am
    bostonblows says:
    August 21, 2021 at 9:02 am
    Waddle = Home run.

    4 14 Rate This


    Made O Glass


    Ridiculous claim, the man had one serious injury. Good Luck covering him in week one.

    10 7 Rate This


    I think All Pro JC Jackson will be just fine, thanks.

  32. On the drop I watched, he turned his head around way too late. Not sure if he’s still learning the playbook, or whether he just needs more reps with the QB.

  33. You would think the Bengals would have invested in a tackle to keep their franchise QB upright – especially after he tore his ACL. Hard to complete passes when the QB is lying on his back.

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