Before the Bengals met the Steelers recently, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that Bengals rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase‘s drop in explosive plays was a result of teams adjusting their defense to make sure he didn’t beat them.
Chase has 20 catches for 204 yards over the last five games, which is a sharp drop from the 35 catches for 754 yards that he posted through the first seven games of the season. Chase echoed Tomlin’s comments this week when he discussed the need to adjust his game in response to the way defenses have adjusted to his hot start to his career.
“I’ve been getting a lot of cloud lately,” Chase said, via Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “That makes my route change when I get cloud coverage. Bumping me, trying to make me slow down my route, get me out of the play, take me out back side. I’m pretty sure that’s slowing me down now. I have to make the adjustment to beat double teams.”
A return of the big plays that Chase provided early in the season would likely boost the Bengals’ chances of maintaining playoff position through the end of the season.