WR A.J. Green - Cincinnati Bengals
|6-3, 211||Born: 7-31-1988||College: Georgia||Drafted: Round 1, pick 4 (2011)|
2018 Week 1 vs IND (8 / 6 / 92 / 1 rec)
There were plenty of highlights and lowlights for Green in an uneven performance. He fumbled twice, losing one and getting lucky when Tyler Boyd was able to recover the second fumble. Green also had a drop in the end zone on what should have been a 3-yard touchdown. The fumbles were both caused by defensive backs punching at the ball when Green was trying to get yards after the catch. He will need to work on his ball security, which was also a major issue down the stretch of the 2017 season. His long arms, which are so helpful extending to catch the ball also make it tougher for him to tightly secure the ball after the catch. Aside from the three mistakes, Green was borderline dominant. He lined up in the slot and ran a deep post, flying past the safety in the middle of the field and then diving to secure the catch for a 38-yard touchdown. He also drew a 36-yard pass interference penalty inside the Colts 5-yard line to setup another Bengals touchdown. Green was efficient with his eight targets (nine when counting the pass interference), catching six and looked dominant against overmatched Colts defensive backs.
2018 Week 2 vs BAL (9 / 5 / 69 / 3 rec)
Green started the game a little shakily, almost fumbling for the third time this season as the ball was punched out of his hand. He was saved as the play was ruled an incompletion. His second target came on an end zone fade. The ball popped up into the air, was grabbed by Eric Weddle, and initially ruled an interception, before being overturned by replay. After the two near turnovers, Green took over the game with three first-half touchdowns. He scored from four yards out on a crossing route from the slot, where he got inside leverage and just ran away from the corner trying to single coverage. Green's second touchdown came from 32 yards out. Dalton hit him just past the stick on 3rd-and-2. Green shrugged off a high tackle attempt and was able to break free to sprint another 30 yards for the score. Green finished a third straight drive with a touchdown, scoring this time from 7 yards out on a back-shoulder fade against single coverage. He was able to box out the defender and made it look easy.
2018 Week 3 vs CAR (8 / 5 / 58 / 0 rec)
Green looked headed toward another big game but had to leave the game with a strained groin on the first drive of the second half and didn't return. Early indications are the injury isn't serious and he should be back next week. With 1st-and-goal inside the 5-yard line on the opening drive, Green was targeted twice in a row in the end zone. He was only able to get one hand on a fade attempt into the corner of the end zone. The next play, he ran a crossing route and was wide open. Dalton hit him in the chest and it looked like Green had pulled it in, but his knee took a huge divot of turf and he landed hard, which caused the ball to come close. Green made a spectacular 31-yard catch along the sideline with an incredible toe drag while securing the ball heading out of bounds.
2018 Week 4 vs ATL (8 / 4 / 78 / 1 rec)
Green just missed a 43-yard touchdown on a nine-route down the left sideline in the first quarter. He had a step but wasn't able to come up with the catch on a ball which was thrown a bit too low. Green was robbed of a 9-yard touchdown on a fade route when Cincinnati was called for a questionable hands to the face call on an offensive lineman. The Bengals went back to Green on the same play a couple snaps later, but it was defended well and they eventually had to settle for a field goal. Green was bracketed most of the day. He was able to get away with a small push off and bring in a contested catch against double coverage for a 16-yard gain along the sideline. Green finished the game off with an outstanding sliding catch for a 13-yard, game-winning touchdown. He was able to find the opening in zone coverage behind the corner who cheated up to cover the running back and in front of the safety who couldn't get over in time. Green had to go low and cradle the ball just above the turf, which made it a relatively difficult grab.
2018 Week 5 vs MIA (10 / 6 / 112 / 0 rec)
Green set a franchise record with his 32nd 100-yard receiving game. He had an 18-yard grab over the middle off of play action. He is an extremely tough cover when lined up in the slot off running slant routes off of play action or RPOs. His speed and quickness allow him to get to the inside where he can then box defenders out. Green wasn't able to get into the end zone but had a couple opportunities. On the opening drive, Dalton tried to squeeze it in to Green on a post route in the front of the end zone but the safety made a nice break on the ball and tipped it to a Dolphins defender for an interception. Dalton was nearly picked off later when trying to squeeze it through double coverage to Green in the back of the end zone. Green was able to pick up a pair of long catches on scramble drill plays after Dalton escaped pressure. Green is always Dalton's first choice when he scrambles to buy time.
2018 Week 6 vs PIT (12 / 7 / 85 / 0 rec)
It was a rough start for Green who dropped easy passes on each of the first two drives. The first hit him in the chest and would have gone for a gain of nearly 20 yards and caused the Bengals opening drive to stall. The second was on a slant and it again hit him in the hands. It would have gone for almost 10 yards but he did atone for the drop on the very next play with a leaping 19-yard grab down the seam to set the Bengals up inside the ten yard line. Green also helped setup the Bengals second touchdown with a pair of grabs in the two-minute offense before halftime. Green was instrumental on the Bengals third touchdown drive as well. He toe-dragged along the sideline on a 23-yard grab to get the Bengals into the red zone. The very next play he caught an out route on the other sideline for a 7-yard gain to get the Bengals inside the five-yard line. Green overcame the early drops to have a solid game.
2018 Week 7 vs KC (14 / 7 / 117 / 0 rec)
The Chiefs defense opened the game playing a bit of zone defense with two defenders slanted toward Green but still occasionally went with their preferred man coverage scheme. When they did, Green consistently made them pay. He was the Bengals entire passing offense early and racked up over 100 receiving yards before halftime. He had a 30-yard gain on a crossing route from the slot. He is able to simply run away from most defenders on this route and create separation for easy completions. Green was able to abuse Orlando Scandrick a couple times when the Chiefs left him single-covered on the outside. He ran a beautiful fade route down the right sideline and hauled in a 31-yard reception down to the Chiefs 4-yard line to setup the Bengals lone touchdown. After that drive, the Chiefs changed their strategy and decided to devote multiple defenders to Green on most snaps and force somebody else to beat him. He was often bracketed by two defenders. Dalton still tried to force it to him a couple times to disastrous results, including a pick six when Green was surrounded on all sides by Chiefs defenders. The lack of impact from John Ross is causing Green issues as defenses can devote an extra defender to slowing Green without fear of getting beat over the top by anyone else.
2018 Week 8 vs TB (7 / 5 / 76 / 1 rec)
Green's first catch was a clutch one, sliding to the ground to scoop the ball just above the turf for a 10-yard gain on 4th down. Green grabbed a 17-yard touchdown on a fade route to the front corner of the end zone. Coverage was tight but Dalton threw it up to Green's back shoulder and Green went up to make the play. He was quiet for most of the next two quarters but Green made a pair of big plays on the Bengals game-winning drive in the final minute of the game. He found the hole in the Bucs zone deep down the middle and went up to grab it for a 23-yard gain to get the Bengals on the fringe of field goal range. The next play, Green lined up in the slot and fought his way into good position on a slant route to secure the contested catch to put the Bengals into position for the game-winning field goal. He came up limping on the play and looked like he jammed his toe. It is unclear how serious the injury is but the Bengals have a bye so he will have an extra week to heal up.
2018 Week 13 vs DEN (1 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
Green caught a 7-yard dump off over the middle on third-and-long that came nowhere near the first down marker. He came up limping after running a route early in the second quarter. Green likely aggravated the foot injury that kept him out for the past month. It is almost certainly a season-ending injury and may require surgery to fix.
2017 Week 1 vs BAL (10 / 5 / 74 / 0 rec)
Green was targeted often, but often saw extra coverage with the Ravens putting an emphasis on stopping the Bengals top playmaker. Green made some plays on the Bengals best drive of the game to open the second quarter. He caught a 14-yard out route, sliding to catch a well-thrown Dalton pass. Two plays later, he caught another 14-yard reception on a post route. Early in the second half, Green caught a short dump off in the red zone and was pushed out of bounds at the seven yard line.
2017 Week 2 vs HOU (8 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)
Green caught a short screen pass on the first offensive play, but it was called back due to a block in the back. Green's first official catch was a beautiful grab off of play action that went for 50 yards. Dalton threw it up despite triple coverage and Green elevated to make the catch over Houston corner Johnathan Joseph. Green made another big catch on the next drive, ripping a contested catch away from the cornerback. The play calling was baffling at times. The Bengals were generally in favorable down and distances but failed to convert short third-down opportunities on six separate occasions. Green wasn't targeted on any of these third downs. He had just one short catch and two targets in the fourth quarter. The normally low-key Green couldn't find hide his frustration post-game. "We got to find a way to get our playmakers the ball. That's it. It's a superstar-driven league. You are not going to win without them," Green said. It's safe to say that one of the reasons Ken Zampese was fired was not getting the ball to his star receiver enough.
2017 Week 3 vs GB (13 / 10 / 111 / 1 rec)
Green made his frustration known about his lack of targets after the loss last week. The Bengals remedied the problem early against Green Bay. Green was targeted three times on the first drive of the game, including an end zone target that Green turned into an 11-yard touchdown catch. Green ran a short post and Dalton rifled the ball into a tight window despite double coverage. Green came right back out and caught a 17-yard pass on the opening play of the second drive. Green came up large throughout the game. The Bengals went to him often on a key drive late in the fourth quarter. He drew a pass interference on 3rd down to get the drive moving. Then grabbed a 20-yard pass in traffic on the next play. Dalton did miss Green once on a deep ball down the right sideline. Green burned the cornerback and had plenty of room in front of the safety for what should have been a big gain, but Dalton's pass sailed out of bounds.
2017 Week 4 vs CLE (7 / 5 / 63 / 1 rec)
Green started out hot. He went up and grabbed a perfect pass in the middle of three defenders for a gain of 16 yards early in the first quarter. Green opened the scoring with a 7-yard touchdown. He lined up in the slot and the Browns brought a blitz from the slot cornerback on his side. The blitz left Green with single coverage from rookie Safety Jabrill Peppers and Green easily beat him off the line on an out route leading to an easy pitch and catch touchdown to the back corner of the end zone. Green caught a slant off of play-action for 22 yards and drew a horse collar call on the defender at the end of the run to set up the Bengals second touchdown.
2017 Week 5 vs BUF (13 / 7 / 189 / 1 rec)
Green had a season's worth of lowlights and highlights in one game. He was directly responsible for three turnovers (a fumble and two interceptions that bounced off of his hands). When Green wasn't turning it over, he was busy dominating the Bills secondary and making game-changing plays. The Bengals game plan was obvious right out of the gate. Dalton came out firing it to Green for consecutive completions of 15 and 7 yards on the first two plays of the game despite the game taking place in a steady downpour. The drive quickly stalled but the Bengals went right back to Green on the opening play of the next drive. Green was lined up wide to the right in single coverage on rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White and ran right past him on a go route, getting almost five yards of separation. Dalton lofted a perfectly thrown deep ball which Green caught in stride for a 77-yard touchdown. The first turnover came on a quick slant route. The pass from Dalton was a little high but Green went up and got both hands on it. The wet ball slipped through his grasp and into the arms of a Bills safety. The second tipped interception by Green was even worse. He was wide open on a short slant and the ball went through his hands, hit him in the chest and bounced into the arms of a Buffalo defender. The next drive, Green turned it over again. He caught a pass down the seam and had some room to run. He had a gain of 20 yards into the red zone before taking a big hit that popped the ball out. After the turnovers, the Bengals kept going back to their star receiver and were rewarded when Green made a nice grab and raced for a 47-yard gain. He almost scored but was tripped up inside the 5-yard line.
2017 Week 7 vs PIT (6 / 3 / 41 / 0 rec)
Green started off hot. He had a 15-yard grab over the middle and a leaping grab for 10 yards along the sideline on the game's opening drive. The second drive, he had a 16-yard catch down the right sideline to setup the Bengals inside the Steelers 10-yard line. After the receptions in the first quarter, Green was completely shut out the rest of the way. The Bengals took a shot on a deep ball to Green off of a flea-flicker. The Steelers weren't fooled and Green was still double-covered.
2017 Week 8 vs IND (8 / 3 / 27 / 1 rec)
Green was held in check for the second-straight week. The Bengals haven't established a consistent run game and none of the other Bengals receivers have developed into a true threat, which has allowed defenses to shift an extra pass defender toward Green's side of the field and minimize his impact. He was regularly double-teamed. Green surprisingly saw single coverage on an early 3rd-and-goal. He used a sweet release to beat his defender to the inside on a skinny post and was wide open in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Green had one drop on a high pass and failed to hook up with Dalton on a couple other passes where he looked to have some separation. The minor miscues combined with the extra defensive attention combined to lead to disappointing production.
2017 Week 9 vs JAX (2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
For perhaps the first time in his long career, Green lost his temper. With the Bengals running out the final seconds of the first half, Green took a shove in the back from Jalen Ramsey and decided he'd had enough. Green jumped up and grabbed Ramsey in a choke hold and started throwing punches. He was tossed from the game and is most likely facing a suspension that will keep him out of Week 10 as well. Before the fight, Green was having a quiet day. He garnered just two targets, as the Bengals looked to establish the run early.
2017 Week 10 vs TEN (7 / 5 / 115 / 1 rec)
Green was having another quiet game until late. He caught a couple slants and a comeback route early for solid gains but sat at just 45 receiving yards heading into the fourth quarter. With just under 10 minutes left, he got behind the Titans defense deep down the field but Dalton under threw the pass and Green didn't have a chance to make a play on it. With five minutes to play, Green again caught a quick slant for what would have been another solid gain. However, this time the trailing defender dove to knock away the pass and fell to the ground, Green ran through the tackle attempt by the safety, and then was off to the races for a 70-yard touchdown. The big play put the Bengals up three late but the defense couldn't hold the lead.
2017 Week 11 vs DEN (9 / 4 / 50 / 1 rec)
Green was having a quiet day until his fourth quarter touchdown. The Broncos crowded the line on 3rd-and-2, which left Green with a rare 1-on-1 opportunity outside. He ran a simple go route and got behind Bradley Roby. Dalton put the ball high and on Green's back shoulder, allowing him to go up and make the game-winning 18-yard touchdown catch. Green drew a key pass interference penalty in the final minutes that changed field position and allowed the Bengals to bleed the clock late.
2017 Week 12 vs CLE (8 / 5 / 66 / 0 rec)
Green made a spectacular sideline catch where he skied to snag the ball and then contorted his body to somehow get both toes in along the sideline. Green played well and could have had a monster game. He was behind the defense for what could have been a long touchdown but Dalton got pressured before he could get rid of it and instead scrambled for a long gain. The game script wasn't great for Green. After jumping out to a big lead early, the Bengals played conservatively and rode Joe Mixon.
2017 Week 13 vs PIT (16 / 7 / 77 / 2 rec)
Green mostly played well but had another costly mistake in a big spot that might have cost the Bengals the ball game. He started off hot, scoring touchdowns of 8 yards and 15 yards in the first half. His first touchdown, he badly beat the cornerback on an out route while getting away with a subtle push on the defender's shoulder that allowed him to create huge separation. Green caught a deep ball and then weaved his way past a pair of defenders for what looked to be a 61-yard touchdown, his third of the day but the play was called back due to a holding call. Green dropped what should have been a 20-yard completion with the game tied and under five minutes remaining. While it was raining at the time, it was a ball Green should have caught. For all his heroics, he has too often been unable to make the winning play in big games.
2017 Week 14 vs CHI (12 / 5 / 64 / 0 rec)
Green had an awful game. The Bengals came out focused upon getting the ball to him early and often and Green came up just short of making the play on a number of well thrown deep balls. He wasn't able to hang on as he was going out of bounds on a deep back-shoulder fade. On a deep go route, he had a step on his defender but let the ball bounce off of his shoulder pad. On another deep go route, he was only able to get one hand on the all and couldn't pull it in. His biggest gain of the day actually came on a tipped ball that should have been intercepted. Green's struggles continued into the second half and were one of the primary causes of the Bengals meltdown. With the Bengals down two scores, Green was responsible for back-to-back turnovers that sealed the loss. He had a pass over the middle bounce off of his face mask when he didn't get his hands up in time intercepted. The next drive, he made a nice catch along the sideline for 20 yards but had it ripped out of his hands just before he stepped out of bounds for the Bengals second turnover of the game. Green was pulled along with Dalton for the final two drives of the game.
2017 Week 15 vs MIN (4 / 2 / 30 / 0 rec)
Green was shadowed by Xavier Rhodes and had a very quiet day. He caught a deep pass down the sideline but didn't keep his feet in-bounds. In garbage time, Green was targeted in the end zone from 5-yards out and drew a penalty Rhodes.
2017 Week 16 vs DET (10 / 6 / 81 / 0 rec)
Green had a rough start to the game. He got deep behind Darius Slay and had the ball hit him in the facemask. He also was called for an offensive pass interference penalty against Slay that brought back a long reception down the sideline. Green dominated the matchup in the second half, however. He caught a short pass and made Slay miss with a spin move to get by for a long gain. He also got inside of Slay on a slant for a nice gain and picked up a key third down on a short completion along the sideline.
2017 Week 17 vs BAL (10 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)
After a decent start, it was a miserable day for Green On the opening drive, he caught a 6-yard comeback and drew a pass interference flag in the end zone when Dalton tried to hit him from 20 yards out. He didn't have another catch until the final drive of the game. Green grabbed a deep ball down the left sideline but wasn't able to get his second foot down inbounds. He had another almost identical near-catch on the next drive. It was initially ruled a completion but was overturned after a Baltimore challenge because Green couldn't get the second foot down.
2016 Week 1 vs NYJ (13 / 12 / 180 / 1 rec)
It's safe to say that Green won his individual matchup against Darrelle Revis. When covered by Revis, Green caught all ten of his targets for 152 yards and a touchdown. Green's long 54-yard touchdown catch came early in the second quarter. He lined up outside against Revis and ran right past him on a post route. Revis thought he had safety help, but the safety bit on a crossing route underneath, leaving Green with almost five yards of separation down the middle of the field. The ball was slightly under thrown, but Green had enough separation to slow down and still have enough space to make the catch in the end zone. The Jets gave Revis safety help at times, but often left Revis on an island in man coverage. When Green was singled up, Dalton checked into plays to get him the ball. Green responded with a number of impressive catches, often against tight coverage. His ability to extend his hands and make acrobatic catches away from his body is elite. Green almost had a 93-yard touchdown reception. He caught a screen pass behind great blocking and looked like he was in the clear but lost his balance sprinting down the sideline and stumbled out of bounds untouched after a 30-yard gain. Green's only negative play of the day caused an early sack when he missed the call and went out to run block on a pass play. Dalton was clearly looking his way and had to eat the ball for a sack. Overall, it was one of the best performances of Green's illustrious career. With Eifert injured and the depth chart behind Green completely rebuilt, the Bengals needed Green to step up and he came through in a big way.
2016 Week 2 vs PIT (8 / 2 / 38 / 0 rec)
Green ran a go route that might have gone for a touchdown, but he was pushed by corner Ross Cockrell as he attempted to accelerate past him, drawing a flag for pass interference that set the Bengals up in the red zone. Green came open late in the end zone after Dalton rolled to his left, but Dalton instead tried to force the ball into Uzomah. Green had a short pass near the sideline go through his hands. The Steelers made sure to keep everything in front of them by keeping safeties deep and mostly took away Green with extra coverage attention.
2016 Week 3 vs DEN (11 / 8 / 77 / 0 rec)
Green had an up-and-down game against the Broncos talented secondary. He was able to get open and make some plays, but had a crucial drop that swung momentum late in the game. Green got open for an easy 9-yard catch on a comeback route on the first drive. Green set up the Bengals second touchdown with an 11-yard grab on a quick screen. He made a nasty cut that left the first Broncos defender grasping for air and was finally pushed out of bounds at the 4-yard line. Green's drop came at the worst time. The Broncos had just taken the lead midway through the fourth quarter and Green was wide-open for a first down on a short out route on the Bengals ensuing drive. The ball bounced right off his hands, causing the Bengals to go three-and-out and give the ball back to the Broncos, who promptly put the game away with a long touchdown pass.
2016 Week 4 vs MIA (12 / 10 / 173 / 1 rec)
Green had a great matchup against young corners Xavien Howard and Tony Lippett and took full advantage. He set the tone early for the Bengals and completely dominated the first half. Green almost single-handedly carried the Bengals down the field for an early touchdown. He won a jump ball over Howard for a 51-yard gain to get the Bengals into Miami territory. A few plays later, he took a crossing route for 19 yards to set up first-and-goal. He then finished the drive off with a 7-yard touchdown catch on a quick screen. He caught the ball short, juked corner Tony Lippett behind the line of scrimmage and powered through his attempted tackle to get into the end zone. Green was instrumental on the Bengals' next scoring drive also. He opened the drive with a short 7-yard catch. He gained 15 yards on a crossing route after lining up in the slot, stacked behind the tight end. He then made a spectacular diving catch on a post route over the middle for 20 yards. Green burned again Lippett early in the third quarter on a go route. He beat a jam, ran right past him and snagged the well thrown ball with his hands. If Miami had shown any pulse on offense, Green could have had a record-setting game. But with a safe lead, the Bengals played a very conservative second half.
2016 Week 5 vs DAL (8 / 4 / 50 / 0 rec)
After a monster Week 4, Green had a quiet game. He did draw a couple pass interference penalties, but was mostly held in check. The Cowboys shifted extra defensive attention his way and the Cowboys pass rush didn't allow time for the Bengals to hit any slow-developing deep shots to Green. Green found a soft spot in the middle of the Cowboys defense for a 22-yard gain on a post route. He was able to draw a pass-interference flag on Mo Claiborne running a 15-yard comeback route. Claiborne made a beautiful leaping play in the end zone to keep Green from hauling in a 32-yard touchdown pass a few plays later. Green had a step on the go route, but Claiborne showed nice recovery speed and used his long arms to tip the ball away at the last instant. Green drew another interference call on a slant route. He hauled in a slant pass in the fourth quarter for a nice gain inside the Cowboys 10-yard line to set up a touchdown a few plays later to LaFell.
2016 Week 6 vs NE (10 / 6 / 88 / 0 rec)
The Bengals got Green involved early with a screen pass from a novelty formation with two blockers split out wide on each side and only three linemen lined up in the middle of the field. Green was targeted on third-and-goal from the one-yard line, but the fade was played well by Malcolm Butler and the throw was slightly low. Green and Dalton were able to hook up for 22 and 23 yard gains down the right sideline on third downs to keep drives alive. Both drives eventually ended in touchdowns. Dalton hit Green in the red zone for a 14-yard completion down to the Patriots two yard line to set up the first touchdown of the game on the next play. Green had a pretty 15-yard catch called back due to a holding call. Green had a second end zone target on an out route from the slot. It looked like his arm might have been held on the play as he was forced to attempt to make the grab one handed, but no flag was thrown.
2016 Week 7 vs CLE (8 / 8 / 169 / 1 rec)
The Bengals clearly wanted to get Green going early and he had four catches in the early minutes of the game. The first two plays of the game were both quick strikes to the star receiver. He took a screen for 12 yards and picked up six on a short comeback. Green caught a 16-yard pass on an out route in the final 30 seconds of the first half to move the Bengals out to midfield. Two plays later, Green made the play of the game on a 48-yard hail mary catch as time expired in the first half. He ran down the middle of the field and Dalton threw the ball up into a cluster of players and Green was able to tip the ball to himself and hang on as the fell to the ground amidst a trio of Browns defenders. Green caught another 48-yard pass early in the third quarter. He ran a go route down the right sideline and was able to reach out with one hand to pull in a perfectly thrown ball from Dalton.
2016 Week 8 vs WAS (18 / 9 / 121 / 0 rec)
Green won his individual matchup with Josh Norman, making a number of big catches and also drawing five penalties against the star corner. Green caught a 7-yard pass, but the Bengals instead accepted a 5-yard penalty (and automatic first down) against Norman for hands to the face. Norman was often lined up in press coverage and multiple times went straight to Green's face mask when attempting the initial jam and drawing penalties. While Green had a big day, it could have been much better if Dalton was more accurate deep down the field. Just before halftime, Green blew past Norman on a double move and had a couple yards of separation but Dalton's throw floated wide and out of bounds deep down the left sideline. After just one catch in the first half, Dalton and Green were able to connect for a number of solid gains early in the second half. Green generated a couple yards of separation, streaking down the left sideline for what should have been a 42-yard touchdown, but Green under threw him and Norman was able to get a hand on the pass to break it up. But Dalton came back to Green with success multiple times on the same drive. He hit him for 9 yards on an out route to keep the chains moving. The next play, Green caught a slant for 15 yards, down to the Washington 12-yard line. Green set up 1st-and-goal on the Bengals late go-ahead touchdown with a 40-yard gain down the left sideline, where he beat man coverage against Norman on a go route. Green made the spectacular grab despite getting held and pulled down by Norman.
2016 Week 10 vs NYG (11 / 7 / 68 / 1 rec)
Green spent most of the game matched up with his former collegiate nemesis Janoris Jenkins and Jenkins was mostly able to hold Green in check. Green did most of his damage in the slot, where he was able to avoid Jenkins. On the Bengals opening drive, Green lined up in the slot with two receivers outside of him. Andy Dalton pump-faked as if he was going to throw a quick wide receiver screen to the outside receiver, which sucked up the linebackers. Green ran straight up the seam and the play fake opened up a big hole in the Giants zone, allowing Green to come wide open for a 14-yard touchdown. The Giants pass rush kept the Bengals from being able to really get anything going to Green deep down the field. While Green was credited with a few deep targets, one was basically thrown away by Dalton in Green's direction as he was chased out of bounds and one came on a hail mary attempt into quadruple coverage at the end of the first half.
2016 Week 11 vs BUF (1 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
On the second play of the game, Green was targeted on a short out route. He went to the ground holding his hamstring and left on a cart. Reports on Sunday evening were that the injury was significant and Green is expected to miss the rest of the 2016 season. It may be worth waiting until something more official comes out this week before dropping him, but all signs as of Monday morning point to Green's 2016 season being finished. He should be fully recovered before training camp next season as the rumored recovery is 3-6 months.
2015 Week 1 vs OAK (8 / 5 / 63 / 0 rec)
Though gaining a lot of attention from defenders, A.J. Green had an inconsistent day for the Bengals with a few uncharacteristic drops. His first catch of the day came on a comeback route on the second play of the drive with Andy Dalton out of the shotgun for 7 yards. He then had A.J. Green in single coverage where he beat his defender along the sideline but Dalton missed him with a long throw, a sure touchdown. Not long after, A.J. Green drops a pass in the end zone, which causes the Bengals to settle for a field goal. They did get on track the next drive however when Green made a wide open catch for 30 yards, but this one play was almost half his production on the day. The team was making a lot of things happen off of play action including two short crossing routes to green in the 3rd quarter. Dalton goes deep the very next play but then yet another drop from Green tight along the sideline in coverage. The chemistry just did not seem to be there with Dalton and Green in this game.
2015 Week 2 vs SD (4 / 3 / 45 / 1 rec)
Green was critical of himself after Week 1 where he dropped a touchdown pass from Andy Dalton in the end zone. He finished this game with only 45 yards on three receptions but he did catch a touchdown. His first target of the night was a quick screen pass on the Bengals first drive that he took out of bounds for 6 yards. Quarterback Andy Dalton did find him for a nice 23-yard gain through the middle in the first quarter on that drive as well. On his touchdown reception A.J. Green came off the line from the left and leaped in the air to snag the ball from cornerback Brandon Flowers in the back of the end zone for a 16 yard score.
2015 Week 3 vs BAL (13 / 10 / 227 / 2 rec)
It was a career day for A.J. Green as he caught 10 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. Quarterback Andy Dalton hit Green in stride for some huge gains in this game and nearly connected for another touchdown earlier in the game where Green was just out of bounds. In the fourth quarter the duo really got things going as the very first play after a Baltimore defensive touchdown, A.J. Green caught an 80-yard pass from Andy Dalton where he broke tackles from both Jimmy Smith and Will Hill to get into the end zone. The Ravens had zone coverage on the play and Green caught the ball in stride down the seam with 6:37 left in the game. After a great one-handed catch by Marvin Jones, Green would then catch the eventual game winning 7-yard touchdown pass on a fade route after a Dalton audible. This was a very similar play they ran earlier in the game when A.J. was just out of bounds but he mad no mistake the second time around. Green was clearly Andy Dalton's favorite target on the night and it was one of the most dominating performances against the Ravens by an opposing wide receiver in history.
2015 Week 4 vs KC (10 / 7 / 82 / 0 rec)
A.J. Green had a relatively quiet performance against the Chiefs in comparison to his career day in Week 3. He did secure seven receptions on ten targets and finished the day with 82 yards. His biggest play of the game came off a low snap which quarterback Andy Dalton scooped up and threw deep down field for Green and a 36-yard gain down the left side of the field. Green was a victim of poor game script in this game as the Bengals were content nursing a big league they gained early on.
2015 Week 5 vs SEA (8 / 6 / 78 / 0 rec)
Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman for the majority of this game shadowed A.J. Green, as the Seahawks defense was content letting Tyler Eifert go off. Green had 6 catches for 78 yards in Week 5 but actually could have had a bigger day as he had a 72-yard touchdown called back due to a holding penalty in the first quarter. This is what caused the switch from Williams to Sherman early in the game and that proved to be a wise decision for the Seahawks. Dalton essentially stopped looking his way as he had just 13 yards in the second half.
2015 Week 6 vs BUF (7 / 4 / 36 / 0 rec)
It was a tough night for A.J. Green in Week 6 against the Bills as their game plan was clearly to take him out of the game. Green caught just 4 balls on seven targets for 36 yards against rookie Ronald Darby. This freed up Marvin Jones to lead the team in catches and receiving yards. The big days will be there for Green but there will be weeks that quarterback Andy Dalton will be content to feature another member of this talented offensive unit.
2015 Week 8 vs PIT (17 / 11 / 118 / 1 rec)
Marvin Jones was nearly killed in the first half going through the middle, which opened the door for A.J. Green to have a huge day for the Bengals. The superstar wide receiver had an insane 17 targets against the Steelers in which he reeled in 11 passes for 118 yards and the game-winning touchdown. It was an ugly game for the majority of the skill positions for the Bengals but Green was the lone beneficiary. His 9-yard touchdown was on a slant route and when it mattered most Dalton hit him with a perfectly thrown ball in the end zone.
2015 Week 9 vs CLE (6 / 4 / 53 / 0 rec)
Wide receiver A.J. Green had four catches for 53 yards against the Browns in Week 9 but tied for the team lead with six targets. Game script may have been the issue as the Bengals went run heavy with a lead most of the game. It didn't help all three touchdown passes went to his tight end Tyler Eifert. His long catch of the night was a deep pass right out of the shotgun that Green hauled in for 18 yards in the third quarter.
2015 Week 10 vs HOU (7 / 5 / 67 / 0 rec)
Star wide receiver A.J. Green was not involved in this game until late in the third quarter but did finish with 5 receptions for 67 yards on Monday Night against the Texans. His fifth catch proved to be the nail in the coffin as he was stripped at the Texans 23-yard line with just 40 seconds left in the game with the team down four points. The ball came out as Green was bracing his fall heading to the ground and would have given the Bengals a key first down.
2015 Week 11 vs ARI (12 / 4 / 79 / 0 rec)
A.J. Green was shadowed by Patrick Peterson most of the game but he did break free for a big play down the sideline of 42-yards against Jerraud Powers in the first quarter that set up a touchdown. He finished the game with an inefficient four receptions on twelve targets for 79 yards and zero touchdowns in their loss to the Cardinals on Sunday Night Football. He has 19 targets in the past two games and was battling through an injury late in this game.
2015 Week 12 vs LA (8 / 6 / 61 / 2 rec)
A.J. Green posted a throwback Bengals performance in Week 12 against the Rams, totaling 61 yards and two touchdowns on 6 receptions. His first touchdown of the game was by his own admission "probably one of my easiest touchdowns ever." It was a blown coverage by the defense, which left him wide open in the end zone for the 10-yard touchdown. Green spent the majority of his day in the slot in this game rather than running his usual deep routes. Five of his six catches came in the first half where his team then nursed a lead. Green hasn't caught multiple touchdowns since Week 3 this season and beat press coverage on his second of the night for an 18-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
2015 Week 13 vs CLE (6 / 5 / 128 / 1 rec)
Star receiver A.J. Green went off in the Cincinnati Bengals Week 13 route of the Cleveland Browns. He caught 5-of-6 targets for 128 yards and a touchdown in a game where Green eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his five seasons in the league. Randy Moss is the only other wide receiver in NFL history to have accomplished that feat in each of their first five seasons. On his 23-yard touchdown grab early in the second quarter he couldn't have been more open as Dalton floated a pass down the left sideline for an easy score. Green in one-on-one coverage had a second touchdown reversed in the third quarter and brought back to the 1-yard line. He showed impressive body awareness to get his toes down in bounds and nearly broke the plane. Browns cornerback Tramon Williams was overmatched all game long giving up multiple big plays. Green nearly had another touchdown on his 57-yard grab in the first quarter but was tripped up just as it looked like he was going to take it to the house for an 84-yard score. Dalton continues to trust Green in all aspects of the game to go up and make plays for the Bengals offense. Their chemistry has grown over the past five years and Green is on pace to finish the year with 93 receptions, five shy of Larry Fitzgerald's record for most catches by an NFL player in his first five seasons.
2015 Week 14 vs PIT (9 / 6 / 132 / 1 rec)
A.J. Green has historically torched the Steelers and was essentially the Bengals entire offense in Week 14. He totaled six receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Quarterback A.J. McCarron leaned heavily on Green after the injuries to Andy Dalton and Tyler Eifert on the opening drive. Green ran right past cornerback Antwon Blake for a 66-yard score in the second quarter on a deep throw by McCarron. The ball traveled 36 yards in the air, longer than any pass Dalton has thrown to Green all season without regard to yards after the catch. McCarron didn't show a huge amount of interest in spreading the ball around unlike Dalton so this could actually be positive for Green's fantasy value going forward. If Eifert misses time, McCarron would be smart to rely on Green extensively in the passing game.
2015 Week 15 vs SF (3 / 1 / 37 / 0 rec)
A.J. Green finished with just one reception for 37 yards in Week 15 as he left the game in the third quarter with a back injury. He had three targets in this game and with the game well in hand; the star wide receiver was not pushed back into a game that was already 24-0 at the time. His catch was a nicely thrown deep ball by A.J. McCarron who targeted Green heavily last week in relief of Andy Dalton.
2015 Week 16 vs DEN (9 / 5 / 57 / 1 rec)
Few things can simplify a young quarterback's game more than teammates stepping up and giving them a larger margin of error; while his 57 yards don't look impressive on the stat sheet, against the Broncos, A.J. Green did exactly that. Green got open easily against a tough secondary and did a phenomenal job of hauling in off-target passes to keep drives alive, especially on Cincinnati's two early touchdowns. While he was quiet later in the game, it wasn't because of any drop in his play. Green had several plays where he was open deep only for the ball to be delivered nowhere near him.
2015 Week 17 vs BAL (5 / 4 / 34 / 1 rec)
A.J. Green caught 4-of-5 targets in Week 17 against the Ravens for just 34 yards. He did have a spectacular receiving touchdown in the third quarter to get the Bengals lead to 14-9. He caught back-to-back passes on the drive, both at the sideline and able to get both feet in bounds. On his touchdown grab he leaped over cornerback Shareece Wright on a fade route and was able to again get both toes in bounds. It was a 10-yard touchdown grab and Green tied for the team lead in targets with Marvin Jones in this one. The Bengals were content relying on great defense and the run game in this one as McCarron had just 27 pass attempts.
2015 Week 18 vs PIT (8 / 5 / 71 / 1 rec)
A.J. Green had five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the Wild Card Round on eight targets for the Bengals in a heartbreaking loss. Green was not a big contributor through the first three quarters but he drew a huge pass interference penalty that set up the Jeremy Hill touchdown and then completed a touchdown of his own with just two minutes left in the game. In his first post-season touchdown McCarron threw a deep 25-yard pass into coverage where Green went up and met the ball at the highest point to make the play and came down with it before running into the end zone with 1:50 to go. The Bengals were up 16-15 and were in the drivers seat to their first post-season win in 25 years even after failing to complete the two-point conversion.
2014 Week 1 vs BAL (9 / 6 / 131 / 1 rec, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
Green was having a nightmare game until the 2nd half. The first half had options, qb keepers, screen passes and reverses, but didn't feature many passes to Green. That changed on the first drive as Dalton hit Green across the middle for 23 yards. Green made a nice move to get open between the defenders and Dalton hit him for the big gain. But Green helped save the day for Cincy with his 78 yard TD at the end of the game. Dalton threw it perfectly and Green didn't have to break stride. However the defender got a hand in there and distracted Green causing him to bobble the ball in the air. Green kept his concentration and grabbed the ball again on the bobble. Then he made two moves on the safety Stewart, and left him standing in his tracks as he raced in for the game-winning touchdown. Despite the great play by Green, though, the ramifications of this offense have to be slightly concerning for Green's owners. Dalton and Cincy have traditionally gotten the ball downfield quite a bit. Whether this gameplan was designed solely for the Ravens or is going to be the norm remains to be seen. But if the Bengals primarily move the ball in the short passing game and limit the risks, we may see less opportunities for big gains for Green.
2014 Week 2 vs ATL (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Green hurt his toe early in the game and missed the entire game. It's likely he will return after the Bengals week 4 bye week.
2014 Week 3 vs TEN (9 / 6 / 102 / 0 rec)
AJ Green is what takes this offense to the next level. Green is so smooth and can run all the routes. He finished with a solid stat line, but just missed 2 td's of his own. Dalton threw a ball in the sideline and Green had the ball in his hands, but couldn't hold onto it. He drew a PI penalty on the play, which still gave the Bengals the TD, but he almost had one of his own. Green also connected on a deep 29 yard route down the sideline and then a 24 yard deep slant pass from Dalton in the fourth quarter. On that play, he was brought down by a defender just short of the goalline. Aside from that, he was his usual self, catching out patterns and slants, and making it look perfectly smooth and easy. Green hasn't done much scoring so far this year, but a week off to get fully healthy should keep him on track to be a top-5 receiver this year, as his talent is superb.
2014 Week 5 vs NE (7 / 5 / 81 / 1 rec)
Green got a Sunday Night primetime game on Revis Island. Green's numbers ended up ok, but for the most part Revis completely shut Green down. Early on the physical play from the Patriots defenders knocked Green out of his rhythm. Revis was in Green's face the entire first half, and really shut him down. On one occasion Green came across the middle, caught a pass, but then lost the ball when Revis stripped him of the ball, ending the drive. Early on it was a complete shutdown of AJ. In the second half, Green woke up a little bit, although it was at a point where the Patriots already had a big lead. Green ran deep, got a little separation from REvis and then reached out and grabbed the 35 yard pass. It was a nice route, and really Green's only success of the day against Revis. Very soon after that, Revis injured himself and temporarily left the game. On the first play that Revis was out, Dalton fired a ball to Green in the endzone for a TD. Green ran straight upfield then curled out toward the corner, caught the ball and held on as he was going out of the back of the endzone. It was a very good throw and catch, but it didn't come on Revis. Green's just not a physical WR and struggles when matched up against some of the more physical cornerbacks in the league. Although he ended up with decent numbers, his poor first half, his fumble and his inability to get open on Revis for much of the game ended up being a big reason that Cincy couldn't get things going on offense.
2014 Week 9 vs JAX (6 / 3 / 44 / 1 rec, 1 / -3 / 0 rush)
Green returned and had a solid day. Green drew the double teams, which was tough for a guy who still doesn't quite look 100%. But even at 95%, Green almost scored two TDs. Green got his first catch on a 17 yard sideline route. Then on the next drive, Green showed some of his rust. First he caught a short pass and fumbled the ball. Sanu saved his bacon by recovering the ball. Then Green scored on a touchdown, but the TD was called back because Green was lined up offsides. Green struggled to get open and be a consistent force for most of the game. On one play in the 2nd half, he worked himself free on the sideline and Dalton completely overthrew him. Green finally got in the endzone late in the game. Green ran upfield, cut inside and Dalton nailed him right before the safety got there. It was a picture perfect throw and catch. But aside from that play, it was overall a rough day for Green. With the emergence of Mohamed Sanu, it will be interesting to see what happens with AJ Green. Against Jacksonville, Green drew the heavy coverage. But Sanu is playing so well right now, that at some point defenses will have to adjust. Of course, that will be disastrous for defenses, as AJ green against single coverage is never a good thing. Overall, Green scored a TD and made a couple nice catches, which is not a bad start for a guy coming off of a toe injury. The emergence of Sanu might bring Green's targets down just a hair, but it is also very possible that it will lead to some huge games for AJ in the future.
2014 Week 10 vs CLE (10 / 3 / 23 / 0 rec)
AJ Green was "targeted" 10 times in the game, but even his freak talents were unable to haul in a slew of poorly thrown ducks from a struggling Andy Dalton. Green looked visibly frustrated after Dalton threw a weak-armed sideline pass at least three yards out of reach with Cincinnati driving in the late second quarter. Green, like his QB, looked out of sorts. He dropped two short passes in the same drive in the third quarter and was never given an opportunity to make a play to bring Cincinnati back in the game. If there is any silver lining, it doesn't appear that Green was hampered by his toe injury.
2014 Week 11 vs NO (8 / 6 / 127 / 1 rec)
Green had a huge day. He looked fast, showed off his great hands, and looked like the AJ Green of 2013. Green had a 21 yard deep sideline route in the first half, and almost had a TD, but just let the ball graze the ground. But he really put his stamp on the game on a huge drive in the 4th quarter. Green got loose on 3rd and 18 and had just a bit of space between his double coverage and the sideline. Dalton laid it right on the money and Green caught a 38 yard pass. He then caught a slant pass, broke a tackle and got a first down. Then he ended his day with a 24 yard catch of another perfectly thrown ball right at the pylon for a touchdown. Green faced double coverage for most of the day, and still had a huge game. He looked completely healthy, so his owners can expect to finally start getting the production that they have been expecting, as his speed and route running was impeccable.
2014 Week 12 vs HOU (16 / 12 / 121 / 0 rec)
Green had a big game last week, and continued that this week with another huge game. Green was practically uncoverable in the short and intermediate routes, getting open on slants, out patterns, comebacks and sideline routes. Green made a sick cut after a short comeback route, completely shook the defender and went downfield for 20 yards. Green converted a 3rd down route with a great leaping 11 yard catch in the first half. Dalton never really threw deep for AJ Green, which is a bit unusual. The playcalling kept things short, and Green responded with a great day in any ppr leagues, garnering 12 receptions. Green's toe looks perfectly fine, and he should be an explosive playmaker for the remainder of this season.
2014 Week 13 vs TB (8 / 4 / 57 / 1 rec)
AJ Green salvaged a decent day with his 13 yard 3rd quarter TD catch. He ran downfield, cut inside and caught a ball placed high and right in his hands for the go-ahead TD. But before that, he was having a dismal day. He was the intended target on two Andy Dalton INT's, though neither INT was Green's fault at all. Green also dropped a 3rd and long pass from Dalton over the middle, which ended a drive. Green did make a sweet move on a short comeback pass. He ran back to the ball, spun the other way and left the defender in the dust for a 20 yard gain. All in all, he had a good day when you consider how poorly the Bengals were on offense.
2014 Week 14 vs PIT (15 / 11 / 224 / 1 rec)
Green was an absolute monster against the Steelers. Ike Taylor had no answers for Green, and he just worked him all over the field. Green continued to burn the Steelers on short passes, screens, slants and virtually any route that they wanted. Then when the Steelers sat on the routes, Green burnt them deep for two long plays, including his 81 yard TD. Green completely burnt the cornerback, caught the perfectly thrown ball, made a move and ran into the endzone for his TD. The Bengals must have saw something in the matchup, because they clearly decided to get the ball to Green all game long. Whenever they needed something, they looked his way. Ever since Green has returned healthy, he has been virtually uncoverable, looking as good as he ever has in his career. His presence should have opened things up for the rest of his team, but unfortunately it didn't. No other Bengals offensive player had more than 23 yards receiving, and when the Bengals needed contributions from the other players, they generally didn't get the job done.
2014 Week 15 vs CLE (11 / 5 / 49 / 0 rec)
This wasn't a case of Green getting shut down by Haden again, as Haden was injured in the 2nd quarter. In fact, Green got a number of short receptions on Haden before the injury. Dalton tried to hit Green downfield on at least three occasions, but really wasn't close to completing any of them. As a result, Green's receptions were a mix of short slants and sideline routes. In the second half, Green spent the half blocking, as the Bengals had a big lead and were gashing the Browns on the ground. Green did have one nice 3rd down reception, getting open on the sideline and hauling in a 3rd down pass from Dalton. But otherwise, Green had a relatively quiet day, due to the struggles of Dalton and the success that Cincinnati had on the ground.
2014 Week 16 vs DEN (4 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
After Andy Dalton hung Green out to dry on a high throw, Green took a shot to his arm and was never the same. Green tried to tough it out, but every time he went out there, Dalton seemed to throw it high and Green continued to take shots and punishment. Green ended the game with a goose egg on championship weekend, no doubt causing his owners everywhere a lot of misery. Green's injury is certainly something to watch for week 17 and the playoffs, because the offense was anemic once he left the game.
2014 Week 17 vs PIT (13 / 8 / 82 / 0 rec)
Green had a miserable day, despite the stats suggesting otherwise. Twice he was the intended target on interceptions, as Dalton overthrew him both times. He also caught a slant pass over the middle and allowed Pittsburgh to strip the ball from him. Green is a fantastic receiver, and he put up typically solid numbers. But at this point, he's getting numbers due to the quantity of the targets he's getting. He's not really hurting the defense, or making a difference. The deep ball hasn't been working lately, and Green looks visibly frustrated. A number of times, Green could be seen angrily heading to the sideline, completely avoiding Dalton at one point. It seems that thinks are boiling over in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton has been given a lot of talent all around him, and the Bengals could only muster 17 points against a pretty bad Pittsburgh defense. AJ Green should have been able to light up Pittsburgh, but was just held to short slant passes and out patterns.
2013 Week 1 vs CHI (13 / 9 / 162 / 2 rec)
AJ had a very up-and-down day. Both int's were intended for him, and while the first INT was inconclusive, the second INT was clearly AJ's fault. Tillman outhustled Green to the ball on the first INT. However, Green responded by showing his ability to get deep and make things happen. He outfought Tillman for a long 40+ yard reception down the right sideline. Then he just abused Jennings for a 45 yard touchdown in the second quarter. Green's final big play was another deep ball in which he was mugged by Tillman, which drew a long PI penalty, culminating in a Cincy TD. So on the day, Green made the big plays in all three touchdowns for the Bengals. But he also had a big hand in 2 of the 3 crucial turnovers as well. That being said, Green and Dalton seem to be on the same page in the deep passing game. All three deep throws were right on the money. Green wasn't just a deep threat though. Dalton targeted him over and over, in slants, outs, sideline throws and Green responded with the usual combination of great route-running and great hands (aside from the one INT) that make him one of the most dangerous weapons in the game. Green is the weapon that opens up the entire offense.
2013 Week 2 vs PIT (14 / 6 / 41 / 0 rec)
The AJ Green and Andy Dalton train was not working well tonight. Despite 14 targets, the two had obvious communication problems, and that was compounded by an inaccurate first half from Andy Dalton. Ike Taylor has never been a good matchup for Green, and Taylor did a good job of covering Green in this one as well. Early in the first half, Green broke open deep and went the wrong way on a deep pass from Dalton. It appears that the blame for the pass was on Green, if you read the body language of the coaching staff and listen to what the announcers were saying. On another occasion in the first half, Green ran a post pattern, and Dalton threw what appeared to be a flag route, which ended another drive. So the duo was just not in sync. Not only was Ike Taylor blanketing Green, but the Steelers were using safeties over the top and refusing to give up the deep ball. While this strategy has worked in the past vs the Bengals, there are more weapons to worry about now, and those weapons ended up doing the Steelers in. The 14 targets Green still received is proof that Andy Dalton is going to try and get Green the ball, no matter what the situation is.
2013 Week 3 vs GB (8 / 4 / 46 / 1 rec)
Green was visibly frustrated in the first half, as the Bengals continued to turn the ball over. The aborted drives kept Green from getting the ball. On one of the few times Dalton did look his way, the pass was thrown behind him and was intercepted. In the second half, Dalton was able to get Green involved. He threw a sideline route for a first down on the first drive. Then on the second drive, Green made a double move that completely froze Shields, and he caught a beautifully thrown lob pass right into his arms for a 20 yard TD. On the final TD drive, Green again made a big sideline catch for a TD. Of note in this game is that the Bengals did a great job of spreading the ball around. For some time now Dalton has been accused of focusing too heavily on Green, and that wasn't the case at any point today. It can only help AJ Green to see the other weapons on Cincy get the ball more. Bernard, Sanu and Marvin Jones all had big games, and anything that keeps double coverage off of Green will put him in line for big games down the road.
2013 Week 4 vs CLE (15 / 7 / 51 / 0 rec)
Just a miserable day all around for AJ Green. Haden man-handled Green and AJ looked visibly frustrated. Much of the frustration was AJ, and no doubt some of it was due to the poor passing of Dalton. AJ broke free for a potential long gain in the second half, and Dalton sailed it over his head. Even when Green beat Haden, as he did on an 11 yard slant, Haden usually was very physical and intimidating in his tackles, which no doubt affected Green's psyche. In the second half, Green had a mis-communication with Dalton, who thought he was running a back shoulder route. Then Green ran a long in-route, and lazily went after the ball, which wasn't thrown perfectly. Haden was much more decisive in his route and easily batted the ball away. Green is a great deep threat, but is showing that he can be out-muscled. There is no reason to panic, though. Haden is a great cornerback, and again, a better pass by Dalton and Green perhaps gets a long gainer and maybe even a TD.
2013 Week 5 vs NE (8 / 5 / 61 / 0 rec)
Green was in a dogfight with Aqib Talib for much of the game. The Bengals didn't force him the ball either, obviously showing a great deal of respect for Talib. As a result of this matchup, the Bengals ran more, threw to the tight ends, and got some of the other weapons involved. Green did make a few plays, but those plays likely are no consolation to his owners. In the 2nd quarter, Talib was covering Green tight, and Green made a great head-and-shoulders fake to the inside, then broke outside, caught the ball and got 18 yards. He then took a quick slant pass from Dalton for an 11 yard first down. In the second half, Dalton hit Green on an out pattern for another first down, as Green made another great move to separate himself. Then on the long TD drive, Dalton hit Green on a short pass, and Green faked Talib out, and went for 17 yards down to the 6 yard line. A telling sign of Talib's dominance is that all three of Green's big gains all came on tremendous plays. It took everything Green had just to get open and make plays. Nothing came easy, and so in the long run, his 60+ yard performance was nothing to sneeze at. It was a great battle between two great players.
2013 Week 6 vs BUF (11 / 6 / 103 / 1 rec)
Green finally had a big game, and he looked fabulous doing it. Ironically it came on a day when Dalton did a fantastic job of spreading the ball around. In the first half, Dalton threw a jump ball to Green in the endzone, and Green timed it perfectly, caught the ball and made a tremendous effort to keep his feet in bounds. Then later on, Dalton hit Green on a screen pass, and Whitworth and half of the team got out in front to block, springing Green for an impressive 54 yard gain down the left sideline. It felt like he covered the 54 yards with about 7 or 8 steps, due to his long strides. This is a play the Bengals need to get into the playbook more often. Add in a couple slant passes, including a big 12 yard reception in overtime, and you have the makings for a big game. If Dalton can use all of his weapons like he did today, Green will be a far more explosive player. Late in the first half, Dalton locked onto Green, stared him down for a few seconds and then threw an int right into the hands of a LB who read the whole thing. Those are the types of plays Dalton needs to eliminate, and if he does, Green's value will remain extremely high.
2013 Week 7 vs DET (8 / 6 / 155 / 1 rec)
Aside from the 82 yard bomb, Green also got open deep twice, but was underthrown by Dalton. He was at the absolute peak of his game against Detroit, as he was practically uncoverable. When the Lions played off him, he ate them up on curls, slants and out patterns. Yet, despite the cushion, he still was able to blow by them and get into the open field. In the 2nd quarter, Dalton threw the ball high in the air down the middle of the field, and AJ jumped up and came down with a 27 yard gain. Green was likely motivated by the big day that Calvin was having, and the two were feeding off of each other. However, Green almost made his amazing day legendary when he broke up downfield late in the fourth quarter. A double-move got him wide open, but Dalton couldn't hit him. Many AJ Green supporters likely wish that he had a QB with a rocket arm, ala Matt Stafford, but Green is still able to put up big stats with Dalton and is beginning to take off. The weapons that surround Green are going to make this offense very dangerous, as when Green draws double-teams, the other weapons find themselves in single coverage.
2013 Week 8 vs NYJ (7 / 3 / 115 / 0 rec)
Green got open for three deep balls against the Jets. He caught two of them, and dropped the easiest of the three! Green's first catch was in heavy traffic, but Green jumped in the air, and made a great play on the ball, as he usually does. In the 2nd half, Dalton threw two strikes and hit Green in stride. Dalton is now spreading the ball around, and this is greatly beneficial to Green. There are so many weapons on this team, that defenses just can't focus on Green like they did a few years ago. Even on a day when Green saw a very small number of targets, he still put up over 100 yards.
2013 Week 9 vs MIA (19 / 11 / 128 / 0 rec)
Green was all over the place, hauling in reception after reception against a defense that had no answers for him. Green caught sideline passes, he caught slant passes, screen passes, and kept the chains moving. He did have a huge drop in the first half that ended a drive, and he didn't quite fight hard enough for a ball at the end of the first half, as Dalton threw his first INT. However, Green played his heart out and made a huge play in overtime, leaping high in the air and coming down with a beautiful lob by Dalton to put the Bengals close to field goal range. Green and Dalton have struggled to consistently hook up downfield, and this game was no different. Dalton threw one out of bounds on a deep look, and on another play on the final drive, Green tripped on his feet and fell down.
2013 Week 10 vs BAL (15 / 8 / 151 / 1 rec)
Green earned his living on two long pass plays. In the second half, Dalton launched a ball high into the air into double coverage. Green jumped in the air, tipped the ball up and then grabbed it on the rebound for a long gain. Then of course there was the game-tying hail mary that Green hauled in for a 51 yard TD that took the game to overtime. As amazing as Green is, and as good as he is at fighting for the ball, this was about as lucky a TD as he's ever had. He was literally behind all of the action, and just caught a ball that was tipped in the air and had no force behind it. Green started to come alive in the second half, as Dalton and the Bengals did a better job of moving the ball. On the first TD drive, Dalton hit Green across the middle on back to back throws, one for 20 yards and the next for 18. On both plays, Green made nice cuts and found the middle of the zone, and somehow was wide open. Green ended up with great numbers, and really was the only spark in the passing game for the Bengals. He faced rough and physical cornerbacks, but was still able to overcome the tight coverage and have a great game.
2013 Week 11 vs CLE (5 / 2 / 7 / 0 rec)
Green was unable to get anything going in this game, having his worst day as a pro. Haden intercepted two passes intended for AJ in the first quarter. The first pass was so far behind AJ that you wonder if there was a mis-communication. On the 2nd pass, Dalton clearly mis-threw the ball and AJ had no prayer of catching it. After that, Dalton stayed away from Haden for the entire game, and thus Green couldn't get anything going. The Cincy offense is at it's best when AJ gets the ball. But the Joe Haden matchup is a tough one for Green, as he's been exposed twice this year. Green lacks the physicality of a Calvin Johnson or Julio Jones. He gets away with it against 99% of the cornerbacks out there. But Haden is currently kryptonite for AJ Green.
2013 Week 13 vs SD (7 / 5 / 83 / 1 rec)
Green's TD was perhaps the easiest TD he's ever had. He simply ran forward, slanted toward the endzone and caught the pass without a defender within ten yards. It was broken coverage and Green took advantage. In the first half, Green had an impressive run after a screen pass, using his speed to break away from the defender, and gaining 17 yards with impressive YAC ability. Then late in the game on the final drive, Green got things started with a 28 yard reception. He made an incredible double move and completely froze the defender. Dalton threw it on a rope and Green picked up 28. Overall a solid day for Green, despite the fact that the passing game had serious problems.
2013 Week 14 vs IND (8 / 6 / 72 / 1 rec)
Green had a typical day of solid production. The offense as a whole seems to work better when Green isn't getting forced the ball. When Dalton spreads it around, Green's production may level off, but he converts on most attempts thrown his way. Green did it all in this one. He started the game with a slant pass, drew a defensive holding on a long ball, caught a 22 yard catch streaking across the middle of the field and drew a pass interference penalty. Then towards the end of the game, Green made a nasty move at the goalline and hauled in a fade that Dalton hung perfectly in the air for a 9 yard TD. Dalton never forced the ball to AJ, but did a great job of spreading it to the open man, which made Green more deadly when he did look his way. If Dalton would play this way more often, Green would likely still put up 100 catches and 1300 yards. But when he forces it, the entire offense bogs down.
2013 Week 15 vs PIT (18 / 9 / 93 / 0 rec)
Green had a lot of catches, and was Dalton's only consistent receiver for the entire night. However, he never really threatened Pittsburgh. They let him run underneath routes, sideline routes, and quick comeback routes. But he never got open downfield, aside from one play late in the game. On 4th down on Cincy's last play of the game, Dalton finally threw a ball deep downfield. Green seemed to lose it in the lights and mis-timed his jump. A good jump possibly could have given the Bengals a slight chance, but the ball fell incomplete. A game like this is a gold mine for a receiver in a ppr format, as Green was able to haul in catch after catch. But despite all those catches, his impact on the game was quite small, as the Steelers were only concerned with giving up the big play, due to their big lead.
2013 Week 16 vs MIN (12 / 7 / 97 / 2 rec)
Green made his super bowl owners happy by putting together one of the best days of the season. Green's first TD was a lob over his shoulder. He made a slight adjustment and easily hauled it in. On a different second half drive, Green was blanketed by the defender on a comeback route. Despite having the defender all over him, Green used his big hands to secure the 17 yard reception. Green's second TD was a short back shoulder reception for two yards. Green was even interfered with on the play, and as a result he almost dropped it. But he stayed focused and held on for the TD. Then as the Bengals were driving in the fourth, Dalton hit Green 3 straight times, once on a short sideline route, another on playaction, and then a 17 yarder down the middle of the field for a first down. By the end of the game, Green had worn down the defenders and could get open anywhere he wanted. Green finishes week 16 with numbers that almost perfectly mirror his 2012 numbers. This despite the fact that Dalton has made a concerted effort in many games NOT to force him the ball. This has resulted in a much more explosive offense for Cincinnati, and it hasn't come at the expense of AJ Green's fantasy numbers.
2013 Week 17 vs BAL (10 / 4 / 61 / 1 rec)
The highlight of the day for AJ Green was a 53 yard touchdown in the first half. Green took off running upfield, then cut toward the center of the field, completely smoking the safety who tried to pick him up. Green got behind the entire defense and hauled in the pass for one of the easiest long bombs you'll see. Aside from that play, Green didn't catch a lot of other passes. Dalton looked his way once on a short one yard lob at the goalline, but Green was outmuscled for the ball by Jimmy Smith. Green also lost a physical battle on another occasion, which resulted in an interception as well. If there is a weakness in Green's game, it's his physicality. He seems to struggle more in the divisional games, as the AFC North opponents usually do a good job of keeping him under wraps.
2013 Week 18 vs SD (9 / 3 / 34 / 0 rec)
Green had an extremely quiet game. On the final drive of the first half, Dalton threw to Green over the middle, and was high with his throw. Green made an excellent jump and grab of the ball. Green had a couple other receptions as well, but missed his chance to make a big impact late in the game. Down 20-10 with about 6 minutes left, Dalton threw a bomb down the right sideline to AJ. Green had two defenders on him, but the ball went over their heads and landed right in AJ's arms. AJ dropped the ball and showed visible frustration afterwards. The Chargers did a great job of rushing the passer and keeping AJ covered at all times. He was unable to make much of an impact in the game, as Dalton swung the ball to Jones, who had more space and was open more often.
2012 Week 1 vs BAL (11 / 5 / 70 / 0 rec)
Green was largely held in check by the Raven defense. He was defended close to the line of scrimmage with a safety defending him over the top. The Baltimore secondary was quick enough at the snap to neutralize Green on all downfield routes. His best catch came on a 17 yard reception where he was able to get space off of his initial defender and haul in the pass before Benard Pollard could close in on him. Green looked quick off the line of scrimmage but was somewhat sloppy on his routes which may have contributed to his not catching many downfield passes.
2012 Week 2 vs CLE (12 / 7 / 58 / 1 rec)
The Browns were clearly focused on preventing Green from getting deep and that resulted in a lot of short slants and hitches for Green. Where he was most impressive was after the catch as he repeatedly refused to let the first man take him down. Three times in the second half he caught short hitches or slants and then stiff armed a defender and picked up the first down. His touchdown came on a short route where he caught the ball at the 4 and then made a great move to beat the defender into the end zone.
2012 Week 3 vs WAS (11 / 9 / 183 / 1 rec, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Green simply dominated this contest from first snap to last whistle. On the Bengals' first play of the game, he hauled in a perfect pass from receiver Mohamed Sanu on a slant-and-go route, taking it to the house for a seventy-three yard Bengals touchdown. While that was his lone touchdown of the game - his end-around run got stopped at the one yard line - Green had only begun to run roughshod over Redskins defensive backs. Targeted on forty-percent of Dalton's passes, he moved the sticks for the Bengals numerous times. Green had a career day against a Redskins defense that had little hope of stopping him. The second-year wideout blasted his personal single-game receiving yards record - he had one hundred and twenty-four in his second career game against the Broncos - with a monstrous game hundred and eighty-three yards on nine receptions. Cincinnati also got him involved in the ground game, as Green took an end around for an eleven yard gain. The Georgia product is simply an elemental force in the Cincinnati passing game, a weapon that shakes off coverage like a duck does water. If Sunday's game against Washington is any indication, Green is poised for a massive year for the Bengals.
2012 Week 4 vs JAX (9 / 6 / 117 / 1 rec)
Green's day started very slowly as Dalton had little time to look down the field early in the game. For nearly a half, Green was taking away coverage and his lone target resulted in an interception when Dalton floated a late, inaccurate pass his way. In the final two minutes of the first half, Green warmed up. He easily beat the cornerback on a go route, making the deep catch. That play was nearly a touchdown, but Green was ruled out of bounds at the 1-yard line. There was no official review after the play, but was close enough to warrant one. The second half was when Green went to work on the Jacksonville secondary. Two highlight-worthy catches showed off Green's elite ball skills. Once, Green adjusted to an underthrown deep pass with ease. Another saw Green make a diving play on a slant route. Green had another near touchdown in the second half, catching a red zone slant just short of the goal line. Even though Green followed his huge Week 3 with another impressive stat line, there was the opportunity for three touchdowns on the day. His talent is more evident with each passing week and Green is locked into fantasy starting lineups on a weekly basis.
2012 Week 5 vs MIA (13 / 9 / 65 / 1 rec)
After tearing up the competition in the first month, Green had an off day (relatively speaking) against what has been a rather soft Miami passing defense. He still registered nine catches on a team leading 13 targets, but only picked up 65 yards. Green couldn't get behind Sean Smith (who's done a tremendous job in back-to-back to weeks against two of the best WRs in the NFL) and he was forced to work underneath the coverage for a majority of the game. Green fumbled twice, but managed to recover both (one questionably so). Green made a great catch on his TD, as Dalton placed the ball perfectly and despite tight coverage again from Smith was able to haul the pass in and keep both feet in. Green's long went for 18 yards, a nice back shoulder throw from Dalton. Constant pressure on Dalton early led to a disconnect between the two and perhaps precipitated the move inside and underneath for Green later in the game.
2012 Week 6 vs CLE (12 / 7 / 135 / 2 rec)
With Calvin Johnson underperforming, AJ Green may just be the best receiver in the NFL right now. This game showcased his talents. Green's first reception was on a pass that he did excellently to fight back for. Green and Buster Skrine were tight to each other and the ball was destined for Skrine's hands, but Green snatched it off of his finger tips showing excellent quickness and hustle. For his second catch, Green extended over the middle to snatch the ball out of the air before taking a hard hit from an incoming safety. Green held onto the ball and made it look easy. Many receivers shy away from contact in that situation. Green's first touchdown was an impressive move again that he made look easy. Green caught a high pass from Dalton in the back of the endzone and did well to extend fully, snatch the ball out of the air and keep his feet in bounds. Green showed off his intelligence and physical ability to adjust to a lofted deep pass from Dalton to beat two defenders and come down with the ball under pressure later, before then catching a quick slant against single coverage for 15 yards. Joe Haden followed Green later in the game, but Green beat Haden on a comeback for 13 yards before beating him in single coverage down the sideline for a massive touchdown reception. Haden looked tired as he followed him in pursuit.
2012 Week 7 vs PIT (6 / 1 / 8 / 1 rec)
Green was targeted six times by Andy Dalton but had a great deal of trouble making anything happen against the potent and revitalized Steelers' defense. Green's best play came on an incompletion. On the play, Green ran an out pattern to the left side and Andy Dalton's pass was high and behind him. Green was able to stop mid-stride and elevate to try and catch the ball, ultimately getting only one hand on the errant pass before it dropped to the ground. The play showed Green's absolutely electrifying athleticism and gave fans a reason to think that a single bad game can be easily corrected due to his immense physical talents. Green's sole reception came on an 8 yard touchdown reception. On the play, Green lined up to the left and ran a quick slant to the middle of the end zone. To his credit, Dalton threw a hard, low pass that only Green could reach. Green slipped behind his defender and hauled in the ball for the score. Green primarily ran quick screens and go routes from the left side of the field but was double-covered on most downs with a safety over the top thus limiting his ability to catch many passes.
2012 Week 9 vs DEN (9 / 7 / 99 / 1 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Another game, another set of impressive catches for A.J. Green. He was matched against Champ Bailey most of the day and beat him more than once on deep routes. Early in the game, Bailey was penalized for holding, but Green bobbled and frankly should have caught the pass even with the penalty. Green beat Bailey on a first half deep route in addition to a fade route in the end zone for a score where he faked the slant route and easily got to the corner on Bailey. Green got deep again and this time Bailey held him as it had all the makings of a long touchdown. Dalton's throw looked to be too far down the field regardless of the penalty, but Green clearly won the route. Green's best play after the catch came in the second half on a crossing route. After a stiff arm, Green turned the reception into a huge gain and nearly scored, going out of bounds at the two-yard-line. His final big play was called back by offensive holding, a physical catch over the middle on third-and-long with the game in the balance. Despite a few missed opportunities, Green still had a great fantasy day, showing his high weekly ceiling as a WR1.
2012 Week 10 vs NYG (10 / 7 / 85 / 1 rec)
A.J Green was targeted often by QB Dalton from the very start and you could tell how much chemistry exists between the two second year players. Green took advantage of backed off coverage and soft zone defense early in the game with outs and short curl patterns, that gave him some yards after contact also. Green's biggest play came on busted coverage from NYG however. The S for NYG never picked up Green as he streaked down the field alone, giving QB Dalton a massive window to throw into and a very quick touchdown pass. Green almost had another touchdown shortly after as he was open in the endzone on a fade pattern but the pass had slightly too much air and did not reach Green in time. Green got a lot of short patterns after this, aiming to continue to take advantage of his athletic skills. He was an excellent option to pick up first downs and got a lot of yards after catch due to the difficulty defenders have in trying to tackle him in open space. NYG DB's often feared the deep ball from Green and surrendered the short gains in an effort to prevent the big play. Green was not needed as much as he could have been needed due to the lack of effort from NYG. The Bengals had a commanding lead in the third quarter and the Bengals simply nursed this lead with safe pass/run calls to ensure the victory.
2012 Week 11 vs KC (12 / 6 / 91 / 1 rec)
Green had a nice day that could have been huge. He consistently beat Brandon Flowers and Javier Arenas down the right sideline, but Andy Dalton overthrew more of those targets than they connected on. Green's touchdown catch was the type that only a handful of receivers in the league could make. Versus double coverage Green made a one handed grab on a fade route and somehow got two feet in bounds. Green took a huge hit that drew a flag in the second quarter on his 40 yard reception. He ran a stop and go, running right past Brandon Flowers but the ball arrived just as the safety did and Green paid dearly for catching the ball. The hit didn't seem to affect him as he continued to dominate Chiefs corners in the second half. He seemed to be toying with the two corners as he ran past them down the sideline repeatedly.
2012 Week 12 vs OAK (9 / 3 / 111 / 0 rec, 2 / 21 / 0 rush)
Green did not extend his 9-game touchdown streak but had his chances and ended with a productive day. Green has been an absolute monster this season and in 10-of-11 games has nine or more targets. Despite eclipsing 100 yards this week, Green and Dalton were not on the same page more often than not. Green had two chances for receptions in the red zone which were not catchable in addition to a diving attempt on a slant route that Dalton threw far out in front of his leading receiver. When the ball was in Green's catching radius, he made the Oakland secondary pay. All three of his receptions were down the field and at big moments. His highlight reel play this week was a third-and-long conversion on a deep route against tight double coverage. Green tracked the ball right over his head and hauled in the highly difficult play to step up the game-clinching score in the fourth quarter. In addition to his regular work in the passing game, Green added a 20-yard rush on a reverse that was blocked well at the point of attack. It was just the third game of the season where Green saw action as a rusher. While stud players like Green are matchup-proof, it is worth noting that his two toughest games of the season to-date (Ravens, Steelers) were also his lowest scoring games. The Cowboys in Week 14 and Steelers in Week 16 are equally tough tasks over the remaining fantasy schedule.
2012 Week 13 vs SD (13 / 9 / 85 / 0 rec)
xGreen had a solid game, but he was very close on several occasions to an excellent game. Despite the game high nine receptions, he didn't record any receptions longer than 16 yards. He was wide open in the end zone on a first half pass play, but QB Andy Dalton sailed it well over his head. Green had planted towards the inside and was heading to the outside of the end zone, but Dalton just couldn't find the touch. Later on that same drive, he was again targeted in the end zone but there was good coverage on the play. The Bengals did try to take a couple of deep shots to him. The first was on a flea flicker designed to go to him. Dalton, however, saw that he was well-covered down the field and threw to another receiver. Late in the game, Green had a few steps on his defender down the right sideline but again Dalton misfired. Had the pass been towards the middle of the field, it likely would have gone for a 49-yard touchdown. But the ball was thrown out of bounds, which didn't give Green any chance to make a play on it.
2012 Week 14 vs DAL (8 / 3 / 44 / 0 rec)
A.J. Green should have had a better stat line than he did. This was actually Green's worst fantasy day of the year, although he has himself to blame thanks to an easy touchdown drop that would have changed the course of the game. Though targeted 8 times on the day, two of those targets were drops and one was a bad throw that resulted in an interception. Green did have a very nice grab of about 15 yards displaying his athletic jumping ability, but beyond that, a forgettable day at the office.
2012 Week 15 vs PHI (10 / 6 / 57 / 1 rec)
The only Bengals receiver to record a catch against the Eagles, Green hauled in six passes on ten targets for fifty-seven yards through the air. He also broke a three-game scoring drought on a five-yard fade pass reception from Andy Dalton in the fourth quarter. Even with the Philadelphia pass rush dominating and Dalton totally off his game, Green still got his and added to the long list of reasons why he is the AFC's most dominant wide receiver. The Bengals got Green involved on a variety of routes, including quick slants to allow Green to get yards after the catch, as well as jump-ball fade routes and go routes to permit him to showcase his speed and physically dominate the Eagles' secondary. While Green recorded one touchdown in the fourth quarter - his NFL-leading eleventh amongst all wide receivers - he came close to a second one on the Bengals' previous possession. On third-and-eleven at the Philadelphia fourteen-yard line, Andy Dalton had Green open in the end zone, but his pass hit the helmet of Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and caromed out of Green's reach.
2012 Week 16 vs PIT (18 / 10 / 116 / 0 rec)
Green's first reception was a curl underneath when he pushed his way past Cortez Allen for a first down. Green's second reception went for six yards on a bubble screen down the sideline. Green caught a nine yard curl route on first and 10. Green caught another pass underneath for eight yards on first and 10. The Bengals went straight back to him on a bubble screen for the first down. Green dropped a curl underneath coverage on second and 9. Green wasn't having his best day, but did draw a big pass interference call deep down the field to start the fourth quarter. Green caught a slant route straight after, but fumbled the ball when Cortez Allen knocked it out. Green caught a nine yard curl, before spinning away from one tackle, sidestepping another and falling forward for the first down and four more yards. Green caught a wide open curl route before running down the sideline for 20 yards. Green picked up another nine yards against off coverage. Green ran an excellent out route deep down the field to set up the Bengals' game winning field goal.
2012 Week 17 vs BAL (2 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
With Dalton playing a more conservative game and the success of Marvin Jones across from him, the ball didn't have to be force fed to the big wide receiver. Green only had two catches, but both came on the Bengals' touchdown drive in the first half. His first catch came on a medium post route where Green used his body to gain position on the corner and catch the ball; using his strong hands to hold on while getting hit hard. On the next play, Green caught the ball on a sideline hook and showed great footwork to stay in bounds while catching the ball away from his body. The first team offense was benched in the second half, so Green ended the day with those two catches.
2012 Week 18 vs HOU (11 / 5 / 80 / 0 rec)
Head coach candidate or not, there is something very wrong with an offensive coordinator's game plan that doesn't find a single target for one of the league's best WRs until the 2nd half. Sure, the Bengals only had four drives and eight passing attempts in the 1st half. But when one of your players is A.J. Green, you find a way to get him the ball. Green finally found some offense in the 2nd half, with three of his five catches coming on the second drive of the 2nd half including his long of 45 yards. Green ran right past Jonathan Joseph and in a rare moment of accuracy Dalton was able to find the WR for the big gain. Green picked up two more targets, including a six-yard pickup on a quick screen before Dalton missed him badly on the next play. In a weird moment of miscommunication (?), Dalton went back to Green on the following drive. Green, however, appeared oblivious to the throw not even attempting to make a play on the ball as it cleanly sailed right into Joseph's arms. Green just missed another big play on the next drive as he again got behind Joseph's coverage. Dalton threw late, however, and while Green was able to get his hands on the pass, Joseph made a great play to knock it loose. The late throw opened Green up for a shot too, from S Kareem Jackson and sent the WR to the sideline to recover. Green made a nice play to open the following drive, catching a quick out and spinning out of the initial tackle to pick up 15 yards. However, it was another missed opportunity for Green that was the (mis)play of the drive. Green used a double move, faking the corner route before cutting back up field, to again beat Joseph. Well behind the coverage and in the end zone, all Green needed was a solid throw from his QB. Unfortunately, Dalton badly misfired, as the pass was a couple yards too long. Green finished the day leading the Bengals in every receiving category, including 11 2nd half targets.
2011 Week 1 vs CLE (4 / 1 / 41 / 1 rec)
The rookie had a chance to catch a touchdown on the opening drive but was interfered with and Cincinnati benefited from a holding call on the defense. You can see that defenses fear his speed first of all but he also has pretty good size on whoever is covering him. He was held several times in the game, a few were not called by the referees but that will change over time. He has the skills and can take it the distance on almost any play. No doubt as the season progresses you are going to see more and more of this sensational rookie. He made Cleveland pay late in the game as Gradkowski quick snapped the ball and hit AJ Green for a big touchdown to help Cinci win the game.
2011 Week 2 vs DEN (14 / 10 / 124 / 1 rec)
The chemistry between Andy Dalton and A.J. Green is clearly on schedule right now as the two hooked up several times in this game, often in key situations. Green was a physical mismatch all over the field, making tough catches look easy. Often Dalton would simply throw the ball in Green's general direction and he would pluck it out of the air nonchalantly. Green was utilised in all areas of the field - short, intermediate and deep. One particular catch when Dalton under threw a pass down the middle saw Green slide to secure the catch, shielding the ball from the ground with his frame. One thing very noticeable about Green is how he rarely goes down on first contact. He always fights for extra yardage and can gain yards after the catch with his open field moves. Green caught a beautiful touchdown pass at the pylon as Dalton zipped an intentionally high pass in to him, knowing only he could pull it down. Green showed tremendous presence of mind to not only secure the catch away from his body, but to tap both feet in bounds. Green's afternoon could have been even bigger statistically; Dalton missed him deep once and he drew a pass interference call on an occasion. Green produced a dominant display and going forward, this kind of performance will be the rule rather than the exception.
2011 Week 3 vs SF (5 / 4 / 29 / 0 rec)
Green had a rough one. On the opening drive, he made an 18 yard catch, but from then on he would struggle. He showed his athleticism on a hitch play, making a couple of defenders miss, but didn't actually gain any yardage on the play. Later he was targeted downfield, but wasn't ahead of his man and therefore had no chance at the ball. His other catches were of the short variety. He has been playing through a toe injury, so it's hard to say if that had an effect on his performance, since the entire Bengals offense pretty much stunk up their home opener.
2011 Week 4 vs BUF (10 / 4 / 118 / 0 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
While Green did not reach the end zone this week, he showed off his playmaking skills and still managed to break 100 yards on just 4 catches. Green was mostly matched up against Bills corner Leodis McKelvin in the game and victimized him for several big gains. The highlight came on a 58-yard play down the right sideline in the second quarter when he basically reached back over McKelvin to snatch the ball. Then, on the third play of the 3rd quarter, he used his body to box out McKelvin for a 40-yard gain down to the Bills 7-yard line. After those big gains, the Bills started moving a safety over to his side of the field and that helped open things up more for other players. Green finished the game with a game-high 10 targets and looks like he's clearly establishing himself as the #1 WR on this team.
2011 Week 5 vs JAX (8 / 5 / 90 / 1 rec)
AJ Green can have a pretty good day on just a handful of chances, and week 5 was no exception. While QB Andy Dalton was looking to Jerome Simpson early and often, he made his most productive connections to his fellow rookie battery mate. The first time Dalton looked Green's way, they connected for a 37-yard touchdown on a well-executed crisscross route combination with Andre Caldwell, which caused a mix up in the Jaguars' secondary and left Green open just long enough for Dalton to drop the ball in behind the defender and let Green do the rest for the score. Green does it all, making the big plays downfield and making himself a reliable, unafraid target over the middle on 3rd downs and in the red zone.
2011 Week 6 vs IND (7 / 5 / 51 / 1 rec)
A.J Green had another very nice day in his banner rookie year for the Bengals. Green scored early in the game as he used his speed to blow past the defense and then out leapt a defender to haul in a well thrown pass in the endzone for his score. Dalton knows to use his bigtime emerging talent and gives him a lot of targets in every game. Green is a physical WR that can run the short routes and he out muscled defenders for a lot of balls in this game with his giant catch radius to throw to. He has superior route running than a lot of rookie WR's and often is wide open when we makes catches which provides a lot of yard after catch situations.
2011 Week 8 vs SEA (10 / 4 / 63 / 1 rec)
For the most part, AJ Green continues to impress with his play, making great catches and showing very solid chemistry with fellow rookie and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Green showed exceptional route running on his touchdown, where he threw a double move on the covering defensive back which left the gentleman flat footed and allowed Green to gain separation. Green made a nice catch on a great Dalton throw and hung onto the ball even as the defender smacked into him and they tumbled to the ground. Green makes the occasional mental mistake, such as on a late interception where Green could have done more to prevent the pick. His few mistakes are overshadowed by the massive talent on display the vast majority of his snaps. Dalton relies on Green and looks for him often, perhaps too much so as both interceptions were targeted for Green. Still, the two have formed a solid bond and are producing very well together.
2011 Week 9 vs TEN (7 / 7 / 83 / 0 rec)
Green was the best receiver on the field, by a long shot. He just missed a touchdown on a slant caught at the 1, but did a good job to get down and secure the ball on the low pass. In the first half, he looked athletic, and he looked like a future great receiver, in the second half he looked like a freak. First it was just a 6 yard slant, but the impressive part was how well covered he was and how at the last minute, he seemed to extend his entire body in perfect synchronicity with the arrival of the pass. The Titans must have been impressed too, because they started double covering Green and he got even better. He burnt the coverage deep but was underthrown by Dalton. On the game winning drive he caught a 23 yard pass to get the team into the red zone. Initially, you were amazed to see the concentration and extension as Green elevated to catch the high pass. On replay, the more amazing part was that even as he was focusing on hauling in the pass, he was positioning his feet to stay in bounds. It's one thing to make a catch like that; it's another to have footwork like that. To do both on the same play was amazing to watch. Three plays later, facing 3rd and 18 Dalton simply heaved the ball up to Green who was again double covered. Green went up and hauled in the pass as the two defenders crashed into each other. Green, nearly a boy among men, looked far more like a man against boys on this day.
2011 Week 10 vs PIT (2 / 1 / 36 / 1 rec, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)
Green had a nice start to the game catching a bomb by Dalton for a 36 yard score. The Bengals were down 0-14 at the time and it was just another great grab for the amazing rookie. Green skied over two defenders showing his elite ball skills once again. Unfortunately, he came down stiff legged and looked like he hyperextend his right knee. He came back in the game for the whole second quarter but was visibly limping. He did not come back in the game after half time and was seen on the sideline using stationary bike. Hopefully the injury is not serious and we will see him next week.
2011 Week 12 vs CLE (4 / 3 / 110 / 0 rec)
In two meetings with the Browns and CB Joe Haden, Green has not had many opportunities to make plays, but he has made the most of them with 4 catches for 151 yards and a TD in 2 games, averaging nearly 40 yards per reception against his old SEC rival. Green left Haden behind on a double move for his first reception, beat him deep for his second, and made a spectacular grab on his third, nearly taking it the distance before he was knocked out of bounds at the 2 after a 51-yard pickup. On 3rd and 7 from their own 47, Dalton heaved the ball down field into traffic just before he was hit by DT Ahtyba Rubin. Green leaped into the air and snatched the ball at the top of his jump, never breaking stride and taking the ball all the way across the field to the 2 yard line. Green probably could have scored on the play had he cut to the inside, but instead was pushed out of bounds by Haden, who he beat on the play, setting up the eventual game-winning FG.
2011 Week 13 vs PIT (11 / 6 / 87 / 1 rec, 1 / 15 / 0 rush)
Green is so clearly this team's go-to target. He's incredibly tall, long, and fast. Dalton looks his way first on nearly every play. He caught passes of many different varieties. On his first catch, he ran a deep post that stretched from the left side of the field all the way to the right numbers where he made the catch with defenders running underneath and over the top of him. He also made plays after the catch on quick screens and made a nice run on an end around as Pittsburgh blew and assignment and lost contain. When Green gets even more comfortable with Dalton and adds some bulk to his frame to help him be even more effective on deep passes, he'll be an elite receiver for the next decade.
2011 Week 14 vs HOU (7 / 5 / 59 / 0 rec)
Covered by a shorter cornerback, AJ Green showed off his elite jumping ability on a number of plays. Perhaps his most impressive play came on an incompletion, where cornerback Jonathan Joseph was in position to make an interception. Green had to play defender and leapt high enough to get the ball before it Joseph could, and to his credit not only stopped the interception but very nearly turned it into a reception. Dalton showed his trust in Green's ability to go get the ball, throwing to him deep another of times including one that drew a pass interference call that put the Bengals in the red zone.
2011 Week 15 vs STL (9 / 6 / 115 / 0 rec)
Green's best catch came on a deep pass in the first quarter. On the play, Green lined up to the left side and ran a go route up the seem. Deep down the field, he turned his route to the left and dove to haul in the Andy Dalton pass, setting up first and goal for the Bengals. Shortly thereafter, Green made an amazing one-handed catch with his left hand on a fade route in the endzone but was ruled out of bounds. Green also had an impressive thirty yard gain on a wide receiver screen where he showed dynamic moves in the open field and excellent acceleration away from the defense. Green injured his shoulder on a second quarter play wherein he tripped on his own feet and landed awkwardly but he would return.
2011 Week 16 vs ARI (8 / 2 / 25 / 0 rec, 2 / 25 / 0 rush)
Locked up 1 on 1 with fellow rookie CB Patrick Peterson for most of the first 3 quarters, Green was limited in this game by a separated shoulder as well as good man coverage and safety help, but the attention given to him helped his teammates to find space to make plays. Green made a great catch on a ball along the left sideline in double coverage early in the second quarter. Green was just as productive running the ball as he was as a receiver, picking up 22 yards on an end around.
2011 Week 17 vs BAL (9 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
A.J. Green's role was limited as the Bengals passing offense struggled to establish anything consistent throughout the game. Green did come up with a couple of nice catches and showed good moves after the catch, but overall his role was fairly limited.
2011 Week 18 vs HOU (12 / 5 / 47 / 0 rec)
AJ Green played well for a rookie in his first playoff game. He showed great speed and concentration despite being double-covered on many of his routes. Green continues to pose matchup problems for defenses and his game against Houston was no exception. Green's best catch came on a 21 yard reception in the second quarter. On the play, Green lined up to the left and ran a go route up the seam. Andy Dalton placed the ball perfectly in a gap of the defense allowing Green to haul it in and pick up a first down. Green also drew a long pass interference penalty on Grover Quinn early in the first quarter to help the Bengals get in position for Cedric Benson's touchdown run. Green primarily ran go routes and drag patterns across the middle of the field as Andy Dalton worked to get him the ball on the run.