Will Ja’Marr Chase steal Offensive Rookie of the Year from Mac Jones?
By Jerry Trotta
Clinching a playoff berth seems like a proper way to rebound from a two-game losing streak, and the New England Patriots did so in emphatic fashion with their 50-10 dismantling of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Speaking strictly in terms of the offense, it was nice to see the group bounce back after it averaged just 19 points during the two-game skid.
Damien Harris left early with a hamstring injury, but still managed two touchdowns before departing. He was spelled by Rhamondre Stevenson, who racked up 107 yards and two scores himself on 5.6 yards per clip.
Mac Jones, meanwhile, rebounded to the tune of 227 yards and three touchdowns through the air to remind voters why he’s been considered the runaway favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award all season.
However, it might be time for Patriots fans to admit that Ja’Marr Chase is the new frontrunner after his record-setting performance vs the Chiefs.
Is Ja’Marr Chase about to steal the OROY award from Patriots quarterback Mac Jones?
The idea of the award going to a receiver instead of a quarterback who’s led his team to the playoffs in Year 1 might not sit well with some fans, but you’re in denial if you don’t think Chase deserves the hardware after Sunday.
All Chase did was haul in 11 catches (on 12 targets) for 266 yards and three touchdowns in a Bengals’ comeback win over the Chiefs. The victory helped Cincinnati clinch its first AFC North title in six seasons.
As far as individual accolades go, Chase’s monster performance helped him surpass former LSU teammate and current Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson’s all-time rookie record for receiving yards with 1,429. He did so in just 16 games.
Additionally, Chase’s 266 receiving yards are now the most in a single game by a rookie in NFL history and the most by a player in Bengals history.
Per NFL Media, the No. 5 overall pick became the first rookie to log at least two games with 200 or more receiving yards in a season since 1950. He’s also the first player to do so in multiple games since Josh Gordon in 2013.
We hate to keep rattling off Chase’s accomplishments, but Pats fans need to grasp just how groundbreaking his year has been.
While Jones has been solid for most of the campaign, Chase has largely been spectacular and he just turned in maybe the best individual performance by any player all season in the Bengals’ biggest win in recent memory.
Though QBs generally get the benefit of the doubt with these awards, Chase deserves to be leading the polls after Sunday.
Plain and simple.