Friday, September 5, 2014
Bengals factoid: Sure-handed A.J. Green
By Coley Harvey
CINCINNATI -- Earlier this week, you may have seen where ESPN.com's Ravens reporter, Jamison Hensley, broke down how effective Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green has been against Baltimore's secondary.
Specifically, he wrote about how Green has driven the Ravens' safeties crazy the past three years. And perhaps the craziest moments happened during the two games last season.
While you'll want to keep the aforementioned blog in mind this weekend when the Bengals and Ravens meet in Sunday's opener, you'll also want to keep the following number in mind, too: 1.
That's how many drops Green has had in his five career games against the Ravens.
Overall, he doesn't have the sturdiest hands, having dropped 17 passes throughout his career. But it's worth noting that among players who have gotten targeted as often as Green, he has a notably low drop rating. His drop rating of 3.7 percent ranks ninth among receivers who have been targeted more than 300 times since 2011, and it ranks second among receivers who have been targeted more than 400 times in that same time span.
Only Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, who has just three drops in the past three seasons, has a better drop rating among pass-catchers in the 400-target club. Green enters Sunday's game having been targeted 455 times in his young career.
All of that is to say that Green is a fairly sure-handed receiver, but when he plays the Ravens, he becomes even more dependable.
Green also is similarly sure-handed against the Browns. He only has one drop in six career games against the other division foe.
In addition to his one drop against Baltimore, Green has caught 21 passes for 334 yards and two touchdowns, too. His longest catch was a 53-yarder off a screen in last season's regular-season finale. On that play, Green got great blocking downfield by Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth, among others. Whitworth got out in front of Green and maintained his blocks well downfield, springing the receiver loose for the big gain.
Green played one of the best games of his career at Baltimore last November when he caught eight passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. The score came in the closing seconds of regulation when he followed a tipped Hail Mary pass and caught it in the back of the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown reception that pushed the game into overtime.