The bar is set pretty high in Cincinnati heading into 2023. The Bengals own the fifth-best odds to hoist the Lombardi Trophy following Super Bowl LVIII after reaching at least the AFC Championship in each of the previous two seasons. The expectations are not just high for the overall team, however, as some players are also expecting a lot out of themselves this coming year, including Ja'Marr Chase. The wide receiver told reporters this week that he is looking to rewrite the franchise record book from top to bottom.
"Cincinnati stuff. Stuff to have my name written around this whole facility," Chase said of his goals, via the official team website. "Every receiver record they have."
Chase is already Cincy's single-season leader in receiving yards after a dazzling 1,455-yard rookie season in 2021. That record was previously held by Chad Johnson, and now he's taken notice of T.J. Houshmandzadeh's receptions record. He hauled in 112 passes back in 2007 and the record has stood for the past 16 years. If Chase has it his way, however, that run ends in 2023.
"It's hard getting catches in a game. Especially if you're doubled and there's another star receiver on your team," Chase said. "You almost have to catch every pass that comes your way."
Chase will have some work to do in the receptions department if he wants to sniff Houshmandzadeh's record. During his breakout rookie season, Chase caught 81 of his 128 targets and then caught a career-high 87 balls on 134 targets last year. While there is enough target volume to get him in the range of the record, he'll have to be extremely efficient with his receptions. When Houshmandzadeh broke the record in 2007, he received 169 targets.
Even if he came close and broke 100 catches, Chase would be just the third Bengals player to reach that threshold in franchise history and would be something neither A.J. Green